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Fashion retailer H&M to wind down business in Russia

The world’s second-biggest fashion retailer H&M on Monday said it had decided to wind down its operations in Russia, joining a growing list of companies fully exiting the country.

The Swedish company had already paused all sales in Russia in March over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia was H&M’s sixth biggest market and the company was increasing its store count there while reducing physical stores in many other markets.

“After careful consideration, we see it as impossible given the current situation to continue our business in Russia,” H&M Group CEO Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

“We are deeply saddened about the impact this will have on our colleagues and very grateful for all their hard work and dedication,” she added.

Having operated in Russia since 2009, the company intends to temporarily reopen physical stores “for a limited period of time to sell remaining inventory” as part of the exit process.

The entire wind-down is expected to cost about 2 billion Swedish crowns ($191.3 million), of which about 1 billion crowns will have a cash flow impact.

The full amount will be included as one-time costs in the results for the third quarter.

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