Japanese clothing brand turns turncoat on Russia
Fast Retailing, the parent company of Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo, has announced a temporary halt to its operations in Russia, according to a statement on its website.
“Recently, we have faced a number of difficulties, including operational problems and an aggravation of the [Ukraine] conflict situation. For this reason, we will temporarily suspend our activities,” it reads.
Earlier this week, however, the company had said it would remain in Russia. Its owner, Tadashi Yanai, said “clothing is a necessity of life,” and that “the people of Russia have the same right to live as we do.” However, he has since faced increasing pressure to review this stance, with the hashtag #BoycottUNIQLO trending on social networks.
Uniqlo has 49 stores across Russia.
After a number of Western states imposed sanctions on Russia amid its ongoing military operation in Ukraine, dozens of foreign companies announced they would halt their activities in the country. Among them are fashion houses Prada and LVMH, and retailers of clothing, footwear and accessories H&M, Mango, Adidas, Nike, Marks & Spencer, Hugo Boss, Crocs, Zara, Massimo Dutti and others.
Despite the clothing industry not being directly subject to sanctions, analysts say brands are quitting Russia over fears about their public image in the age of cancel culture.
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