High-end retailers closing stores in Russia, pausing sales

Luxury giant LVMH, which owns Moët, Hennessy, Louis Vuitton and Hermès, to close stores this weekend

Hermès is closing its stores in Russia. (Getty)
Hermès is closing its stores in Russia. (Getty)

Upscale retailers are closing their stores in Russia in response to its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The New York Times is reporting that about 120 stores in Russia controlled by luxury giant LVMH, including Moët, Hennessy, Louis Vuitton and Hermès will temporarily be closed starting on Sunday due to what a company spokesman called “current circumstances in the region.”

The spokesperson noted to the newspaper that the company’s 3,500 employees in the country will still be paid their salary and benefits during the closure.

All Hermès locations in Russia wouldn’t wait until Sunday, closing instead on Friday night, according to a post on that company’s LinkedIn account.

“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,” the post reads.

It’s just the latest move by the international business world to take a stand against the more than week-old invasion.

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Ikea, H&M Group and Nike have all said they will be stopping sales and closing stores in Russia in recent days while expressing support for the Ukrainian people. Retailers are also responding to the trade disruption in Russia thanks to sanctions aimed at financial transactions in the country, according to the report.

Ikea told the Times it would stop exports and imports to and from Russia and Belarus, pause retail operations and cease production at its unit that makes wooden furniture.

According to Axios, since the invasion began, other companies giving Russia the cold shoulder include Boeing and Airbus; oil companies Shell, BP, and Exxon Mobil; automakers Ford, GM, BMW, Volvo, Renault, and Volkswagen; sneaker makers Adidas and Nike; shipping companies FedEx and UPS; and computer makers and tech companies including Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Airbnb, and Google.

Additionally, Movie studios including Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, and Universal have announced they will not release films in the country.

[New York Times] — Vince DiMiceli