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H&M suspends sales in Russia

150 store chiusi come segno di protesta contro l'invasione ucraina

H&M suspends sales in Russia 150 store chiusi come segno di protesta contro l'invasione ucraina

The escalation of the Russian invasion in Ukraine has not left the fashion world indifferent: hundreds of brands are taking sides against the conflict by refusing to continue selling on Russian soil, such as Apple or Nike, partly because of logistical difficulties following the closure of Russian airspace. While luxury brands such as Cartier and Bulgari are trying to remain apolitical by refusing to make statements on the matter and continuing sales at full capacity, fast fashion chains have decided to take a much more decisive stance: H&M, Asos and Boohoo have said they have suspended sales in Russia and H&M has also pointed out that its stores in Ukraine are already temporarily closed to ensure the safety of customers and employees, after last year the H&M group announced the expansion on Ukrainian soil with the opening of a new store in Kyiv.

In an official statement, the Swedish retailer said it was "with all the people who are suffering," becoming the latest company to halt sales in protest of the Russian invasion. As of Wednesday evening, H&M's Russian/English language website is no longer available for customers to place orders. H&M currently has more than 150 stores in Russia, according to its annual report, all of which will now be closed due to the conflict.

This symbolic decision will cost dearly for the fast fashion brand that, after a pandemic slump, had managed to increase its sales in the first nine months by 5.7% over 2020. According to recent data, Russia is H&M's sixth largest market and accounted for about 4% of the group's sales in the fourth quarter of 2021. The fashion giant had also recently expanded its presence in Russia by opening multi-brand stores with other brands from the same group, Weekday and & Other Stories.