Luxury brands halt sales in Russia

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Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Cartier have ceased operations in the country amid the Ukrainian conflict

A number of major luxury brands announced late on Friday that they would be closing their stores and halting their operations in Russia. They cited logistical difficulties and concern for staff safety amid the invasion of Ukraine.

The Kering Group said it would be temporarily shuttering its boutiques, including those of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga, “due to growing concerns regarding the current situation in Europe.”

LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury company by sales, with a stable of more than 75 brands, including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Moёt, released a statement to the fashion news outlet WWD. It said its stores would be temporarily closed in Russia from Sunday. 

French luxury brand Hermès, the maker of Birkin bags, announced its own decision on the professional networking site LinkedIn. It said it was halting operations owing to “the situation in Europe at this time.” Its representatives stated that the company was “deeply concerned,” adding that it had suspended all Russian operations “with regret.” 

Chanel announced a similar move on LinkedIn hours later, stating that its sales in Russia would be temporarily halted due to “increasing concerns about the current situation, the growing uncertainty, and the complexity to operate.” 

Swiss Cartier owner Richemont had already decided to suspend its commercial operations in Russia on Thursday, “given the current global context.” It said it would be continuing to monitor the situation and would “adapt [its] measures accordingly.” 

In the days before they ceased to operate in Russia, Chanel, LVMH, the Kering Group, and others denounced the war and donated funds to Ukrainian relief efforts.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union and other countries have imposed a number of severe economic sanctions on Moscow, including barring its banks from the global payment system SWIFT and closing airspace to Russian aircraft. Several international brands such as Apple, IKEA, H&M, and Airbnb have also suspended their operations in Russia over the conflict.

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