IKEA and H&M close up shops in Russia

Dozens of Western companies have withdrawn or ceased operations in Russia in response to intrusions, sanctions and supply disruptions

IKEA Russia

IKEA and H&M close up shops in Russia. Source: depositphotos.com

Two major retailers, IKEA and H&M, temporarily halted operations in Russia and Belarus due to the Ukrainian invasion.

IKEA is the world’s largest furniture company with 17 stores in Russia. The company said the conflict was having a “huge human impact” and “causing significant disruptions to supply chains and terms of trade”. As a result, it decided to suspend all manufacturing and retail operations in Russia, as well as all trade with Belarus.

IKEA said the shutdown in the region would directly affect 15,000 workers. But the company will continue to pay them, at least for a while.

“The company group’s ambitions are long-term and we have ensured near-term employment and income stability and support for them and their families in the region,” the company said in a statement.

IKEA also announced “an immediate donation of 20 million euros ($22 million) for humanitarian aid to people forcibly displaced by the conflict in Ukraine” in response to an urgent appeal by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The parent company, Ingka Group, is one of the largest shopping mall operators in Russia. It said its “large” malls would continue to operate, providing Russians with food, clothing and merchandise.

In addition, clothing company H&M Group, which has 168 stores in Russia, said it had also decided to temporarily close its stores in Russia.

IKEA and H&M join a growing number of companies, including Apple, Disney and Ford, that have scaled back their Russian operations due to the invasion of Ukraine.

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