Uniqlo reverses position and announces Russia’s departure

Japanese fashion brand UNIQLO has announced its withdrawal from Russia, saying it will continue its business as companies around the world resign all at once as a retaliation for the Ukrainian war.

“While continuing our UNIQLO business in Russia, we found that we were unable to overcome many difficulties, so we decided to temporarily suspend our business today,” said UNIQLO’s parent company. FAST RETAILING is March 10..

“FAST RETAILING strongly opposes hostile conduct. We condemn all forms of attack that violate human rights and threaten the peaceful existence of individuals.”

After Fast Retailing President Tadashi Yanai said in an interview with a Japanese newspaper that clothing is a “necessary item of life” and that Russians “have the right to live like us.” A decision was made.

The company also announced that it will donate 200,000 pieces of clothing to Ukrainian refugees in countries such as Poland and $ 10 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr. Yanai’s comment was repulsive, and the hashtag #BoycottUNIQLO was pushed by critics. Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky criticized the company on March 7. Tweet.. “UNIQLO has determined that the basic needs of #Russian to have trousers and T-shirts are more important than the basic needs of ?? (Ukraine) to live. Sorry!”

Russia has the largest number of UNIQLO stores outside of Asia, with 50 stores nationwide. Moscow’s battle with Ukraine took place when FAST RETAILING was trying to expand its business in Europe and reduce its reliance on the aging Japanese market. During the previous quarter, FAST RETAILING’s business was boosted by performance in Europe and North America.

FAST RETAILING has been the same controversy before. In April 2021, Mr Yanai chose to avoid his company’s problem of procuring cotton from China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where the Chinese Communist Party sent more than one million people from the Uighur community to re-education camps. Did. Uniqlo later faced an investigation in France over accusations of benefiting from human rights crimes against Uighurs.

In addition to UNIQLO, several other fashion brands have announced their withdrawal from Russia. Prada has ceased retailing and Hermès has temporarily closed its stores from March 4th. Richemont stopped commercial activities in Russia on March 3.

Vogue Ukraine demanded an embargo on fashion and luxury exports to Russia on Instagram on March 1. Position.. “Vogue UA has the strongest voice and is appealing to the global fashion industry not to stay silent in these dark times,” the brand said.

Naveen Athrappully


Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter on business and global events in The Epoch Times.