Uniqlo has become the latest company, of more than 300 in total, to pull out of Russia.
In a word
Fast Retailing Company, owners of Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo and Japan Tobacco, announced they would suspend some of their operations in Russia, Reuters reports.
It marks a U-turn from the two Japanese companies who previously indicated they would stay in the country despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting many to leave.
Trade and banking sanctions in Russia will make it very difficult for any multinational company to do business there.
The Fast Retailing founder previously told Japanese media that the company would continue to operate its 50 Uniqlo stores in Russia. However, yesterday Fast Retailing said: “While continuing our Uniqlo business in Russia, it has become clear to us that we can no longer continue due to a number of difficulties.
“We condemn all forms of aggression that violate human rights and threaten the peaceful existence of individuals.”
Online sales in Russia will also be halted, Fast Retailing said. The company previously announced it would donate $10 million and 200,000 pieces of clothing to help refugees fleeing Ukraine.
Japan Tobacco, which controls a third of the country’s tobacco market, said it would suspend investment in Russia.
The company said in a statement: “The challenges of operating in Russia at this time are unprecedented.
Japan Tobacco, has four factories and about 4,000 employees in Russia. He said manufacturing in Russia would continue for the time being but could be suspended if the operating environment becomes too difficult.
Mass exodus of multinationals in Russia
Some of the most iconic brands, representative of the post-Soviet era, are withdrawing their operations in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
More than 300 companies have already stopped or suspended their operations in whole or in part in Russia since the country invaded Ukraine on February 24.