Swedish retail giant H&M has become the latest brand to suspend all sales to Russia because it said it was “deeply concerned” about the situation in Ukraine.
The world’s second largest clothing retailer has already temporarily closed all stores in Ukraine “for the safety of customers and colleagues”.
She joins several other big companies, including ASOS, Burberry, Boohoo, Netflix, Apple, Mercedes-Benz Group, Ford and BMW, in suspending trade in Russia after troops invaded Ukraine last Thursday.
Follow live updates on the invasion of Ukraine
A statement from H&M Group said: “H&M Group is deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and stands with all those who are suffering.
“H&M Group has decided to temporarily suspend all sales in Russia. Stores in Ukraine have already been temporarily closed due to the safety of customers and colleagues.
“The situation is continuously monitored and assessed. Company representatives are in dialogue with all relevant stakeholders.”
He added that he was joining “everyone around the world calling for peace” and said clothes and other essentials are being donated by the company, while the H&M Foundation has donated donations to Save the Children and UNHCR.
The H&M group also owns & Other Stories, Arket, COS, Weekday, Monki and Cheap Monday.
Recent figures show that Russia is H&M’s sixth largest market, accounting for around 4% of the group’s sales in the last quarter of 2021.
The latest developments in the Ukrainian crisis:
• Russia recognizes hundreds of military casualties
• UN says at least 800,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes
• Boris Johnson accuses Putin of “war crime”
• Opposition leader Navalny calls for daily protests
• Joe Biden closes US airspace to Russian planes
• Outrage as Russian athletes allowed to participate in Paralympic Games
ASOS and Apple halt sales in Russia
Earlier on Wednesday, fast fashion giant ASOS announced that it would no longer operate in Russia.
“Against the backdrop of the continuing war, ASOS has decided that it is neither practical nor fair to continue to do business in Russia,” an ASOS spokeswoman said.
Tuesday, Apple has suspended all product sales in Russiahalted Apple Pay there and removed state-backed news outlets RT and Sputnik from its App Store outside of Russia.
Film studios Warner Brothers, Disney and Sony have also released major films from Russia, including blockbuster The Batman starring Robert Pattinson and Marvel Comics anti-hero film Morbius.
Western measures and sanctions hitting the Russian economy
The measures taken by the West, which include severe sanctions, have caused the ruble to fall and forced the central bank to raise interest rates.
Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, placed under sanctions by the UK this week, said on Wednesday it was quitting the European market as its subsidiaries faced large cash outflows and its employees and assets were at risk .
Regulators are bracing for a possible shutdown of the European branch of Russia’s second largest bank, VTB Bank, due to the impact of Western sanctions.