By Eurasia Business News – April 16, 2022

The French cosmetics chain L’Occitane has announced that it will close all of its stores and online stores in Russia. This decision was taken in the context of Western sanctions following the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which began on February 24.

In a statement released on April 15, the L’Occitane group said it ” strongly condemns Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine “. The group says that in recent weeks it has “ significantly reduced ” its activities in Russia and, in particular, suspended investments and sales in the country.

“ In light of the enormous human suffering caused by the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine, and in order to protect our employees around the world from possible public attacks, we have decided to close stores and online stores in Russia ,” L’Occitane said in its statement.

Read also : The Moscow Stock Exchange retreats under geopolitical pressure

The French company pledged that it would continue to pay salaries to all its employees in Russia. At the start of 2022, L’Occitane had 112 stores in the country and employed 700 people. According to the latest  report , the company’s sales in Russia for the nine months of 2021 exceeded 45.9 million euros, up 28.1% year-on-year.

Another explanation for the cosmetics group’s decision to withdraw from the Russian market could be the difficulty of continuing an operational activity in Russia, while the United States and the European Union have sanctioned the main Russian banks. Paying Russian suppliers by bank transfer has become very difficult or even impossible for many European companies following the sanctions announced at the end of February and in March.

Some customers have criticized L’Occitane for the decision and have called for a boycott of the brand, which has more than 3,085 outlets worldwide.

The L’Occitane group is a company in the cosmetics sector, created in 2000 and originating from the L’Occitane en Provence brand, itself launched in 1976 by the Frenchman Olivier Baussan. The group was born in Provence, in the south of France. Its head office is located in Luxembourg, its operational headquarters in Geneva and the company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

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