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Puma Closes Russia Stores

By Joshua Kirby

 

Puma SE is temporarily closing its stores in Russia, it said over the weekend, adding to the brands pulling back from the country.

The German sporting-goods company said it has decided to suspend operations at all of it stores in Russia. At 2021 results last month, the company's chief executive said Puma makes less than 5% of total revenue in Russia and Ukraine.

With the decision, Puma became the latest European apparel company to halt operations in Russia. On Saturday, Spanish fashion retailer Inditex said it was temporarily pausing operations at its 502 stores in Russia, which include 86 outlets of its biggest brand, Zara, as well as its online operations there. It didn't specify the exact reasons for the decision, saying only it couldn't guarantee the continuity of operations and trading conditions in the country.

Russia accounts for around 8.5% of total group earnings before interest and taxes, the company said. In the first nine months of fiscal 2021, Inditex made EBIT of 3.3 billion euros ($3.61 billion).

Given all its locations in Russia are leased, total investment in the country isn't financially significant, the company said. Alongside Zara, Inditex's fashion brands include Bershka, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear.

"Inditex continues to prioritize its workforce of more than 9,000 people, with whom it is going to develop a special support plan from now on," the company said.

Swedish fashion company Hennes & Mauritz AB said last week that it was pausing all sales in Russia. The retailer has around 170 stores in the country, its sixth-largest market with a contribution of around 3.6% of group sales in the most recent quarter.

H&M stores in Ukraine had already been temporarily closed for the safety of customers and colleagues, it said.

 

Dominic Chopping contributed to this story.

 

Write to Joshua Kirby at joshua.kirby@wsj.com; @joshualeokirby

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 07, 2022 01:51 ET (06:51 GMT)

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