H&M to start its exit from Russia

H&M is starting a “winding down” process in order to shut down its business in Russia, the fast-fashion giant announced in a statement Monday.

It is “impossible” to continue business “given the current situation,” H&M CEO Helena Helmersson said in the statement, although she did not provide specifics about the situation. On March 2, the Swedish firm paused its operation, saying it was “deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine.”

The retailer has about 6,000 employees and 170 physical stores, a spokesperson said to AFP. The stores will reopen for an inventory purge, the company said.

The whole wind-down process is expected to cost H&M €189 million, or 2 billion Swedish crowns, the statement reads.

Spain’s Inditex, H&M’s rival behind brands like Zara and Bershka, has paused its operation in Russia but has not indicated it would leave the country, where it operates about 500 stores.