Global brands from Nike to FedEx and UPS have severed ties with Russia since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, and on Friday a wide range of status labels announced they would also close their Moscow locations. and in the other cosmopolitan cities of the country. cities.
Hermès was among the first houses to act, confirming on its LinkedIn page early Friday morning that it was closing its three stores in Moscow. “Deeply concerned about the situation in Europe at the moment, it is with regret that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores in Russia and suspend all our commercial activities from the evening of March 4. We will continue to support our local teams,” the company statement read. A planned location in St. Petersburg has also been postponed, a spokesperson confirmed to Reuters.
Other brands soon followed, including Chanel, which has 17 stores in Russia. “Given our growing concerns about the current situation, the increasing uncertainty and the complexity to operate, Chanel has decided to temporarily suspend its activities in Russia,” the Paris-based company said in a statement. “We will no longer deliver to Russia, we will close our stores and we have already suspended our e-commerce. The safety of our employees is our priority, and we remain closely linked to our local teams, whom we will continue to support. »
As of Friday afternoon, three major fashion conglomerates – Kering, LVMH and Richemont – had joined the shutdowns, effectively closing the Russian stores of more than 100 luxury-focused brands, including Gucci, Balenciaga and Brioni at Kering; Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Christian Dior and Tiffany & Co. at LVMH; and Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Jaeger-LeCoultre de Richemont. “Due to growing concerns about the current situation in Europe, Kering is temporarily closing its stores in Russia for its Maisons that the Group directly operates in the country,” Kering said on its Instagram account. “Kering and its Houses will continue to support local teams and closely monitor the evolution of the situation. Swatch Group, meanwhile, owner of brands like Harry Winston, Omega, Blancpain and Breguet, confirmed Robb Report that they were suspending their exports to Russia.
LVMH represents Russia’s largest retail holding among luxury brands, with 124 stores across its brands located in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, located about 1,800 kilometers east of the country’s capital. A spokesperson for LVMH confirmed to Reuters that its 3,500 Russia-based employees would continue to receive their salaries and benefits during the shutdowns.
In addition to closing their stores, many luxury brands have also donated to a variety of relief efforts. On Wednesday evening, LVMH announced it was donating 5 million euros ($5.46 million) to the International Committee of the Red Cross to help with relief and refugees, while Louis Vuitton donated 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to UNICEF and encouraged its customers to do the same. Michael Kors, who is very active with God’s Love We Deliver, the New York-based organization dedicated to providing home-delivered meals to anyone who is food insecure, announced that his Capri Holdings, owner of his eponymous brand as well as Versace and Jimmy Choo, would donate to the United Nations World Food Programme.
On Thursday, the Armani group confirmed Robb Report that he was donating €500,000 ($546,000) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a United Nations agency dedicated to the assistance and protection of anyone forced to flee their home due to war or persecution. The Armani group added that it will donate clothes to be distributed by the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Rome-based Catholic association that is active in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
Chanel also confirmed on Thursday that it is donating 2 million euros ($2.18 million) to two humanitarian organizations: UNHCR and CARE, the Geneva-based humanitarian agency. The fashion house also said its foundation will work with local partners to help women and children with immediate and long-term needs and is also putting in place mechanisms for its employees to contribute financially to support refugees. “As Maison Chanel, we are one community, and together we continue to believe in diplomatic efforts and hope for an immediate and peaceful resolution to this conflict,” the statement added.