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Now, H&M is leaving Russia

After Hermes and Sephora, the fast fashion brand plans to exit the country over ‘impossible current situation’

H&M's decision to exit Russia comes four months after the retail company  suspended its operations within the country. (AFP)

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Swedish fashion retailer H&M said on Monday it had decided to wind down operations in Russia, after pausing all sales there in March following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

H&M's decision to exit comes four months after the retail giant suspended its operations within the country. 

"After careful consideration, we see it as impossible given the current situation to continue our business in Russia," H&M Group CEO Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

Also Read: It’s now harder to get a MoonSwatch than a Breguet or Blancpain

"We are deeply saddened about the impact this will have on our colleagues and very grateful for all their hard work and dedication," she added.

H&M, which has about 6,000 employees in Russia and has operated in the country since 2009, said it would reopen stores in Russia "for a limited period of time to sell remaining inventory" as part of the exit process.

It said the entire wind-down was expected to cost the group around 2.0 billion Swedish kronor ($192 million), of which around 1.0 billion would have a cash flow impact.

"The full amount will be included as one-time costs in the results for the third quarter 2022," the company said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered unprecedented sanctions and an exodus of foreign corporations, including Hermes and other high luxury brands to exit the country. Recently, LVMH owned beauty subsidiary Sephora joined the list of retailers who exited Russia. 

Other retail giants to have joined this exit includes Spain’s Inditex—the owner of H&M rival Zara—told shareholders last week that it was monitoring the situation in Russia where its stores remain “temporarily closed.” In March, Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, also halted sales in the country citing “a number of difficulties.” Several other marquee global brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have also exited the country.

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson announced in April it would suspend all Russian operations "indefinitely", while truck maker Volvo has stopped sales and halted production at its Kaluga plant.

Also Read: Sephora is leaving Russia

 

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