Uniqlo denies Russia exit plan, says no change to current suspension
In a very brief statement in response to the reports, the company said: “In March 2022, Fast Retailing temporarily suspended operations in Russia, and that status remains unchanged. With no foreseeable prospects to resume operations, the company has closed some stores.
“The company will continue to monitor the situation closely and make decisions accordingly.”
The story had been reported by daily newspaper Izvestia, citing Russia's deputy trade minister. Viktor Yevtukhov said that while the decision had been made to leave the country, Fast Retailing hadn’t yet submitted an application to the government, so there was as yet no buyer for the chain.
And he highlighted that the chain was able to offer “lease agreements, popular points of sale with the good buyers traffic and equipment”.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Uniqlo had continued to operate in Russia, with Tadashi Yanai, president of Fast Retailing, saying the conflict shouldn’t deprive people in Russia of clothing, which was a basic human need.
But within a few days of him making that statement, it announced that it was suspending its operations there. It had come in for heavy criticism of its decision to carry on operating but also said it had faced a number of difficulties, including operational challenges.
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