MADRID – Spanish clothing giant Inditex, which owns Zara, announced on Saturday it was temporarily closing hundreds of shops in Russia as well as the group's online shopping store.
Inditex is one of many multinationals that have suspended business in Russia following its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
The company is "temporarily suspending its activity in 502 shops," it said in a statement.
"Given the current circumstances, Inditex cannot guarantee the continuity of operations and business conditions in the Russian Federation," it added.
Inditex said Russia made up around 8.5% of its earnings.
"Inditex's priority remains its staff of more than 9,000 for whom (the group) will now develop a special support plan," it added.
Among the 502 stores, 86 are Zara shops, the statement said.
Inditex is today the number one company in the world for cheap fashion, neck and neck with Swedish giant H&M.
Eight brands make up the ready-to-wear fashion giant: Zara (nearly 70% of sales), Zara Home, Bershka, Oysho, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Massimo Duti and Uterque.
Some were launched by the group's founder, Amancio Ortega, while others were acquired over the years.
The company, available in five continents, accelerated its reorganisation after the Covid-19 pandemic by closing smaller shops to focus on larger stores in the most prestigious avenues of bigger cities.
Inditex had around 6,500 shops in mid-2021.
Turnover was over 28 billion euros ($30 billion) in and profit 3.6 billion euros in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic temporarily slashed its results.