Swedish fashion group H&M is temporarily pausing all sales in Russia, it said on Wednesday, joining a growing list of companies shunning the country since it invaded Ukraine.
The world's second-biggest fashion retailer said it was deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and "stand with all the people who are suffering".
Russia was H&M's sixth biggest market with 4% of group sales in the fourth quarter of 2021. While it has been reducing the number of physical stores in many markets, it has been increasing store count in Russia to currently 170.
"H&M Group has decided to temporarily pause all sales in Russia," the company, whose biggest rival is Inditex , said in a statement.
H&M had around 4,800 physical stores worldwide as of Nov. 30, of which 548 were in the United States, 445 in China and 441 in Germany. It aims to double sales by 2030 compared with sales in 2021 of 199 billion crowns ($20.6 billion).
Some of the biggest Western brands have suspended operations in Russia in an unprecedented wave of corporate action against Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.
H&M said its stores in Ukraine had already been temporarily closed due to the safety of customers and colleagues. "The situation is continuously monitored and evaluated," it added.