Chanel, Hermès, LVMH and Kering left Russia at the back door

The beauty and fashion industry is gradually evacuating itself from Russia, limiting its presence in the country and funding financial aid for Ukrainian refugees.

Hermès was the first in France to announce on Friday the closure of its three stores in Russia, followed by French luxury brands Chanel, LVMH and Kering. “Due to the current situation in the country, LVMH regrets to announce the closure of its stores in Russia on March 6”An LVMH spokesman told AFP on Friday evening.

Before these French groups, the British Burberry already suspended its shipment to Russia, due to “operational problems”. If Russia is known as a chosen country for beauty, it will actually represent a small part of their turnover: no 1% like Kering or Burberry, 2% like LVMH.

With a low number of stores: of course, LVMH, which has 75 brands, has 124 of its own stores in Russia, but for Chanel or for Kering (ten boxes), there are fewer walking, 17 shops and some places. the sales for the first, two stores and four sales points for the second. However, Russians buy their products outside of Russia, in stores in Paris, on the Côte d’Azur and in other countries and regions of the world.

Luxury knows no problems

Unlike other sectors, the economy has not suffered from the health crisis related to Covid-19, with some groups announcing a financial gain compared to 2019. Therefore the LVMH has increased from 7.8 billion euros to 12 billion in two years.

“Our sales are higher than in 2019, we have seen double digit growth in recent years”explained Saturday Pietro Beccari, CEO of Dior, interviewed in France Inter.

A large growth led by a number of emerging countries, China is the leader, but also Brazil and Russia, it can divide the major companies of the region to make decisions to divide. to a portion of their stock market.

In the manufacturing industry, others have also chosen to suspend their operations in Russia, such as the Swedish H&M on Wednesday, followed on Saturday by its Spanish competitor Inditex, Zara’s parent company and leader world of clothes; which has 502 stores in Russia.

Donations to help Ukrainian refugees

If the real estate companies think about the topic of Ukraine, no doubt some of their brands will show support for Ukrainians, some in social networks, like Balenciaga (Kering company), which will put the Ukrainian flag as one. only picture on his Instagram account. The brand is further away from opening its social network “to share information” about the situation in Ukraine.

One of the reasons for this participation can be found in the biography of its director, Demna Gvasalia, a Georgian who left his country at the age of 12 because of the war and who denounced the “Russian hatred” against the “UK”. Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, said on Instagram “inspired by the dignity, integrity and dedication to freedom” of Ukrainians.

Two grants were announced to the World Food Program (WFP) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.

At this time of Fashion week, other activities have gone this way, such as the model Mica Argañaraz who intends to give part of his income from this time to Ukrainian companies, where role taken by other models, including Bella Hadid and Francesca Summers. .

On the other hand, the Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion did not decide to hold the virtual parade of the Russian designer Valentin Ioudachkine, who redesigned the uniforms of the Russian army.

In terms of donations, there is also a group: LVMH said to pay five million euros for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Chanel two million for the NGO Care and the UNHCR, Louis Vuitton one million for the ‘Unicef.. Others such as OTB (Diesel), Burberry, Valentino or Kering have also announced donations, but without revealing the amount.

(with AFP)