A wave of European and North American retailers and brands suspended business in Russia following the Federation’s invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions.
The invasion has brought growing logistical challenges and raised ethical questions for brands doing business in Russia. Western business responses range from temporarily closing stores and halting sales in the region to severing ties with Russian partners and providing financial aid to organizations helping war-affected Ukrainians.
For security reasons, the brands were also forced to close some stores in the regions of Ukraine most affected by the invasion.
Here are some of the retailers and brands that have slowed down their business in Russia.
Spanish clothing giant Inditex, which owns retailers including Zara, Bershka and Oysho, has halted business operations in Russia, closing around 500 stores and suspending online sales.
“Under the current circumstances, Inditex cannot guarantee the continuity of operations and business conditions in the Russian Federation and is temporarily suspending its activity,” the world’s largest fashion company said.
“Inditex’s priority remains its more than 9,000 employees for whom (the group) will now develop a specific support plan,” he added.
Fast fashion giant H&M Group announced last week that it had temporarily suspended all sales in Russia.
“H&M Group is deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and stands with all those who are suffering,” he said.
Spain’s second-biggest fashion retailer, Mango, said it was closing its 55 company stores in Russia, suspending online sales and halting deliveries to the country. Its 65 franchisees are allowed to remain open subject to product availability.
We dream of a fairer and better world. We follow the evolution of the geopolitical situation, concentrating our efforts on the support of our teams & our customers. Please find more information about our initiatives here: https://t.co/CRWZG4tBPA pic.twitter.com/OpR5JfDWuO
— MANGO (@Mango) March 3, 2022
Ikea has announced that it is suspending all retail activities of the Ikea brand in Russia. It also suspended all exports and imports to and from Russia and Belarus, and halted all Ikea Industry production operations in Russia, including deliveries from all subcontractors to those units.
About 15,000 employees are affected by the decisions and the company said it was looking to provide “revenue stability” in the short term.
Nike Inc. said it will temporarily close stores it owns and operates in Russia, citing growing challenges in running its business. It also suspended online sales. The sneaker giant said it would support its employees by continuing to pay salaries.
“We are deeply troubled by the devastating crisis in Ukraine and our hearts go out to all those affected, including our employees, partners and their families in the region,” the company said.
Sportswear company Under Armor Inc. has stopped all shipments to sales channels in Russia.
“Like the rest of the world, we are shocked and saddened by Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine…We are partnering with humanitarian groups to provide what is needed for displaced people and have also arrested all shipments to our sales channels in Russia”, Under Armor says on his site.
He added: “We are proud to stand with Ukraine against Russia’s attack on its democracy and we will do what we can as a global company where championing equality matters.” .
– Under Armor (@UnderArmour) March 3, 2022
Adidas has suspended its long-term partnership with the Russian Football Union (RFU), the governing body that oversees football in Russia. Adidas has been the kit supplier to all Russian men’s and women’s national teams since 2009. The most recent contract, which was signed in 2018 and expires at the end of 2022, is worth a grossed $14.4 million per year.
Denim clothing brand Levi Strauss is suspending sales and investments in Russia, and will donate more than $300,000 to organizations helping refugees and war-affected people in Ukraine.
“In 2021, around 4% of the company’s total net revenue came from Eastern Europe, half of which was related to Russia. But all commercial considerations are clearly secondary to the human suffering experienced by so many,” Levi’s said.
Luxury group LVMH, which owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs, announced the temporary closure of its 124 stores in Russia. The company said it would continue to pay salaries and benefits to its 3,500 employees in the country.
French multinational Kering, whose brands include the likes of Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, announced it was closing stores in Russia “for its homes that the Group operates directly in the country”. This is “due to growing concerns about the current situation in Europe,” the company said.
Due to growing concerns about the current situation in Europe, Kering is temporarily closing its stores in Russia for its Maisons that the Group operates directly in the country. pic.twitter.com/MrbCiHRc9N
—Kering (@KeringGroup) March 4, 2022
French fashion house Chanel has closed its stores in Russia and no longer delivers goods to the country. The company also suspended its e-commerce business in the Russian Federation.
French luxury house Hermès announcement that it would temporarily close its stores and suspend its business activity in Russia from March 4.
“Deeply concerned about the situation in Europe at this time, it is with regret that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores in Russia and suspend all our commercial activities. We will continue to support our local teams,” Hermès said. .
Beauty retailer Sephora announced on social media this morning that all of its Russian stores, as well as the retail site sephora.ru, will close within the next 24 hours.
“Given our growing concerns about the current environment and the complexity to operate, we will suspend our activity in Russia until further notice… The safety of our local teams is our priority and we will continue to support them during this difficult time. “, says the retailer.