Feb 3, 2023
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Paul Smith pulls out of Russia

Feb 3, 2023

Paul Smith has admitted it was a “mistake” to continue trading in Russia, albeit through a franchise partner.

Paul Smith

The Nottingham-based global fashion giant is now closing its two branded stores, on Moscow’s Red Square and in St Petersburg after they continued to trade despite the invasion of Ukraine.

Many other British brands withdrew from the country following the invasion in February last year. However, the two Paul Smith stores remained open, an investigation by the Daily Mail found.

The brand has admitted supplying stock to Mikhail Kusnirovich, a Russian retail magnate, since the invasion and pledged to end the commercial relationship immediately and shut its stores.

“The company does not trade directly with Russia but, for two decades, we have had a franchise partner who operates stores in Russia,” a Paul Smith spokesman told the newspaper.

“We now realise it was a mistake to allow these stores to continue trading in our name against the background of the war in Ukraine. We have requested that these stores are closed and we have now ceased all supplies to the distributor.”

Bob Seely, the Tory MP for the Isle of Wight, applauded the move, telling the newspaper: “Credit to Paul Smith for finally doing the right thing.”

Under sanctions by the British government, brands can still supply goods to Russia if they’re sold for less than £250. There is no suggestion that Paul Smith broke any rules.

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