Zara and Puma among latest retailers to leave Russia, but others stand firm

The companies are facing growing calls to end their operations in Russia, while many others, including Zara and Puma, join the growing list of companies that have shuttered operations in the country following its invasion of the Ukraine.

Since the invasion began in late February, several companies have announced plans to end operations in the country in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, while many others in the United States continue to boycott Russian-made products.

Inditex, the company that owns Zara, said on Saturday it would close more than 500 stores and halt online sales in Russia. Russia accounts for about 8.5% of Inditex’s global earnings before interest and taxes.

“Under the current circumstances, Inditex cannot guarantee the continuity of operations and business conditions in the Russian Federation and is temporarily suspending its activity,” the company wrote in a statement to Reuters.

Puma also participated in the shutdown by suspending operations at its 100 stores in the country, according to Reuters. The company also previously ended deliveries.

However, other companies continue to operate in Russia, facing backlash from US consumers. On Twitter, hashtags such as #BoycottMcDonalds and #BoycottCocaCola were trending as people sought to pressure them to end their business in Russia.

“If Mcdonalds and Starbucks continue to sell in Russia then an international boycott of their products should be launched,” British politician John Mann tweeted.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli wrote a letter to McDonald’s CEO Christopher Kempczinski urging him to consider whether operating in Russia was “worth the risk”.

“We believe that companies that continue to operate in Russia and invest in Russian assets face significant and growing legal, compliance, operational, human rights and personnel risks,” he said. -he writes. “Furthermore, due to the unpredictability of the situation and the likelihood that conditions will deteriorate, companies must ensure that assets will not be blocked or otherwise encumbered by sanctions.”

Several other companies have already announced their departure from Russia in the wake of the invasion, with Ikea announcing on Thursday that they would close their stores.

“The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy and our deepest empathy and concern goes out to the millions affected. The immediate actions of Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group have been to support the personal safety of IKEA co-workers and their families, and we will continue to do so,” Ingka Group, owner of Ikea, said in a statement.

Apple also closed its stores in Russia, while Ukraine also pushed them to block access to their app store.

Newsweek contacted McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks for comment on Saturday afternoon. This story will be updated with any comments.

Zara said it would end operations in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine on Saturday, while some businesses continue to operate. Above, a Zara store in Madrid in October 2010.
Cristina Arias/Cover/Getty Images


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