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British retailer Marks and Spencer exits Russia

LONDON (AFP) – British clothing-to-food retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) yesterday announced a full exit from Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

After halting product shipments to Russia at the start of March, Marks and Spencer said it had decided “to fully exit” its Russian franchise run by Turkish conglomerate Fiba Group.

The exit, plus disruption to M&S operations in Ukraine run also by franchisee Fiba, is costing the British company GBP31 million (USD39 million, EUR36 million).

“Unfortunately, our Ukrainian business has also been partially closed as a result of war impacts, and we are working with our partner to re-open as and when possible,” the company added in a statement.

An M&S spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that the group’s “brand will no longer be used in Russia”. Its exit from Russia comes also after M&S last year shut more than half its stores in France as Brexit affected supplies of fresh and chilled products.

M&S yesterday said it had taken a charge of GBP10.3 million following the French shake-up.
It had blamed the move on “supply chain complexities” following Britain’s formal exit from the European Union (EU) at the start of 2021.

M&S yesterday added that the group swung back into profit during its last financial year, or 12 months to the start of April.

It was heavily boosted by strong sales online in Britain and abroad. Ahead, M&S pointed to “difficult and unpredictable headwinds” owing to ongoing fallout from the pandemic in addition to geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

An M&S spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that the group’s ‘brand will no longer be used in Russia’. PHOTO: AFP