Long queues formed outside H&M shops in Moscow ahead of the complete closure of the Swedish fashion brand in Russia.
Along with other brands, such as Nike and Ikea, H&M halted operations in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. It opened its doors in Moscow for one final time this week to sell off remaining stock.
“Sadly, the reason why all this is happening is awful. Everything else is meaningless, like how we are going to manage,” said one shopper named Ekaterina.
Leaving Russia will cost the brand £170million and impact 6,000 employees but as stated by chief executive, Helena Helmersson, the war has made it “impossible” to continue to operate in the country.
H&M plans to open most of its remaining outlets in August or September until all the inventory has been sold.
“Well, it is closing, that’s why we are standing here,” one customer, Irina, said. “I’m going to buy whatever there is.”
H&M opened in Russia in 2009 and paused its operation in March. Like other brands, it announced its complete withdrawal in July as the war in Ukraine continued.
“After careful consideration, we see it as impossible, given the current situation, to continue our business in Russia,” Ms Helmersson, said last month. “We are deeply saddened about the impact this will have on our colleagues.”