Zara owner Inditex says to temporarily close stores in Russia

Spanish clothing giant Inditex, owner of Zara, announced on Saturday that it will temporarily close hundreds of stores in Russia, as well as the group’s online store.

Inditex is one of several multinational companies that have shut down their operations in Russia after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

The company is temporarily suspending its operations in 502 stores,” it said in a statement.

“Given the current circumstances, Inditex cannot guarantee the continuity of operations and business conditions in the Russian Federation,” it added.

Inditex said Russia accounted for about 8.5 percent of its revenue.

“Inditex’s priority remains the workforce of more than 9,000 for whom (the group) will now develop a dedicated support plan,” it added.

Of the 502 stores, 86 are Zara stores, the statement said.

Inditex is today the world’s number one low-cost fashion company, neck and neck with Swedish giant H&M.

Eight brands make up the clothing giant: Zara (almost 70 percent of sales), Zara Home, Bershka, Oysho, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Massimo Duti and Uterque.

Some were launched by the group’s founder, Amancio Ortega, while others were acquired over the years.

The company, available on five continents, accelerated its reorganization following the Covid-19 pandemic by closing smaller stores to focus on larger stores in the most prestigious avenues of larger cities.

Inditex had about 6,500 stores in mid-2021.

Turnover in 2019 was more than 28 billion euros ($30 billion) and profits 3.6 billion euros, before the coronavirus pandemic temporarily lowered its results.

Anger over ‘reckless’ Russian attack on Ukraine nuclear power plant

Ukraine and its allies expressed anger on Friday after Europe’s largest nuclear power plant was attacked and seized by invading Russian forces, which continued to shell major cities.

Zaporizhzhya’s six reactors, which can power up to four million homes, appeared undamaged by the fighting and a fire that broke out at a training facility.

But Kiev accused the Kremlin of “nuclear terror”, and US envoy to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the attack was “incredibly reckless and dangerous”.

The UN ambassador to Moscow called allegations that Russian troops fired on the factory part of “an unprecedented campaign of lies”.

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