Little by little, the list of companies ceasing their Russian activities or scaling them back is growing, although there are protests in some places. China is already licking its lips at the void Western brands leave behind.
French luxury goods giants such as Chanel, Hermès, Kering and LVMH no longer consider it appropriate to keep Russian stores open. British Burberry did the same, somewhat reluctantly – officially due to “operational difficulties”, according to French newspaper La Tribune. In the Italian (luxury) fashion industry, not everyone is happy with the situation: the Dutch newspaper FD reports that Stefano Ricci‘s CEO complains that his brand is being “punished more severely than the Russians themselves”. He is therefore keeping his Russian stores open.
The impact on the retail world is also increasing beyond the luxury goods world: in the food industry, McDonald’s is closing all 850 Russian restaurants. The employees will continue to receive their wages. Starbucks and Coca-Cola are also halting business in the country. Fashion giant Inditex is closing all its stores in Russia (more than 500), Samsung (the market leader in Russia) no longer supplies smartphones to Russia. Nor does number three Apple, while number two, Xiaomi, hopes to profit from this.
They do stay
The latter is a general trend: Chinese companies are pleased with the Western boycott and are seizing their chance. Although it is not even sure that chains such as Ikea and H&Mwill cancel their leases, the president of the Russian union of shopping centres is busy looking for replacements. He is also looking for candidates in Turkey, FashionUnited reports on the authority of the Russian newspaper Izvestia.
In addition, brands such as Uniqlo explicitly continue to deliver to Russia. This is by no means without risk: calls to boycott companies that do not boycott Russia are plentiful – and sometimes have famous instigators.