Global luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (OTC:LVMUY) began producing hand sanitizer on Monday at factories that typically produce perfume and cosmetics for brands such as Christian Dior and Givenchy.

LVMH, which also owns Sephora and Guerlain, says it will distribute the product to health authorities and hospitals free of charge. In a statement announcing the retooling, the conglomerate said, "LVMH will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities."

Hands applying sanitizer

Image source: Getty Images.

Keep it clean

France has ordered all restaurants, retailers, and non-essential stores to close in a bid to halt the progression of the COVID-19 virus, but supermarkets, pharmacies, and other similar outlets remain open.

A spokeswoman for the Paris hospital system said supplies of hydroalcoholic gel, otherwise known as hand sanitizer, are "strained," though hospitals have not yet run out of it.

"Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus," the luxury goods conglomerate said.

In the U.S., hand sanitizer is also in short supply. One (NASDAQ:AMZN) third-party seller has been suspended after hoarding almost 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer in a bid to sell them at greatly marked up prices. After the Tennessee attorney general's office launched an investigation into him for price gouging, he donated the supplies to a local church.

Amazon removed the seller's listing and warned other third-party sellers their accounts will be suspended if they engage in similar conduct. It has removed over 1 million items for false claims and high prices.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.