Uniqlo latest big brand to quit Russia
Japanese clothing chain reported to be seeking buyer for 50-store operation
published : 24 May 2023 at 15:17
TOKYO: The Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo has decided to leave Russia after suspending its operation there last year, paving the way for a sale of the business, the Izvestia newspaper quoted Russia’s deputy trade minister as saying.
The Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing suspended operations in Russia in March 2022, joining scores of international companies, after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in what it dubbed a “special military operation”.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Yevtukhov said the company had decided to completely leave Russia but had not yet submitted an application to the government, which means the chain has no buyer yet, Izvestia reported on Tuesday.
“I think they can offer potential buyers their business model,” Izvestia quoted Yevtukhov as saying. “The Japanese retailer will be able to offer … lease agreements, popular points of sale with good buyers, traffic and equipment.”
Fast Retailing said in a statement that its operation in Russia remained suspended, adding some stores were closed with “no foreseeable prospects to resume operations”.
The company will continue to monitor the situation closely and make decisions accordingly, the statement said.
Tadashi Yanai, the founder of Fast Retailing, told Japanese media earlier that Uniqlo was operating 50 stores in Russia.