As Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine continues, global businesses are suspending or eliminating their activity in Russia
High-fashion brands Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermès, Prada, and Burberry all announced they are temporarily discontinuing business in Russia.
Prada shared the announcement yesterday on its LinkedIn. “From today, the Prada Group suspends its retail operations in Russia. Our primary concern is for all colleagues and their families affected by the tragedy in Ukraine, and we will continue to support them,” the statement read.
Chanel also said on LinkedIn that it is closing its boutiques in Russia for now and has already stopped deliveries to the country and suspended e-commerce.
Hermès wrote in a statement on LinkedIn, “Deeply concerned by the situation in Europe at this time, it’s with regret that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores in Russia and pause all our commercial activities from March the 4th evening. We will continue to stand by our local teams.”
Kering, which owns Gucci, said it is temporarily closing its stores in Russia “for its Houses that the Group operates directly in the country.” Gucci has 13 stores in Russia, according to its website.
A spokesperson for Burberry told Bloomberg that the brand has stopped making shipments to Russia until further notice due to “operational challenges.” Its two stores and one concession in the country have not been closed.
LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, said that it would close its more than 120 stores in Russia starting yesterday, a spokesperson told The New York Times, adding that it will continue to pay its 3,500 employees in the country.
Richemont also announced that it suspended commercial activities in Russia and temporarily stopped operations in Ukraine due to safety. The company owns luxury brands Azzedine Alaïa, Cartier, Chloé, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, and Van Cleef & Arpels, among others. On LinkedIn, Richemont said it gave a significant donation to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to help provide emergency response activities, basic aid items, medical supplies, and support to the people of Ukraine.
Luxury online retailers Net-a-Porter and Farfetch have also suspended deliveries in Russia, according to WSJ. The news comes after Bloomberg‘s report last week that wealthy Russians were buying designer jewelry and watches in an effort to preserve the value of their money amid the decline of the ruble due to Western sanctions.
Sportswear giants Adidas, Nike, and Puma have also taken action. Adidas suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union, Nike stopped online sales in Russia and closed its stores in the country, and Puma stopped all deliveries to Russia, Reuters reported. The news came after FIFA and UEFA announced that they suspended Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions “until further notice.”
Under Armour also stopped all shipments to Russia, and went a step further by voicing support for Ukraine in a statement posted on Instagram on March 3.
“Like the rest of the world, we are shocked and saddened by Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. At Under Armour, one of our values is Stand for Equality. We believe in the power of democracy, the ultimate team sport,” the brand said. “We are partnering with humanitarian groups to provide what is needed for those displaced and have also stopped all shipments into our sales channels in Russia. We are proud to stand with Ukraine against Russia’s attack on their democracy and will do what we can as a global company where standing for equality matters.”
H&M Group also condemned Russia’s attack, saying it is “deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and stand with all the people who are suffering.” The company temporarily closed its stores in Ukraine for the safety of customers and colleagues, and announced on March 2 that it would temporarily pause all sales in Russia. The decision is important, as Russia is the company’s sixth-largest market, according to the BBC.
Retailers ASOS and Boohoo have also suspended sales in Russia, per Reuters. “Against the backdrop of the continuing war, ASOS has decided that it is neither practical nor right to continue to trade in Russia,” an ASOS spokesperson told the outlet.