Empty shelves, huge discounts as Russia’s Decathlon stores close

Empty shelves, huge discounts as Russia’s Decathlon stores close



Empty shelves and prices discounted by as much as 70% greeted shoppers who visited Decathlon

Photo: Reuters

Scores of Western brands have left Russia following a backlash against its military incursion into Ukraine, with McDonald’s, IKEA and Renault

Others have reported struggles with logistics and supply chains amid Western economic and financial sanctions.

One shopper, Lyubov, said Decathlon’s departure was “sad”, but was adamant that Russian consumers would cope.

“We are flexible people, we will adapt,” she said.

Another customer, Ivan said: “It really is a shame that it’s closed. As a climber, I’ll miss Decathlon, but what can you do? In principle, there are other things we can buy, but still, Decathlon will be missed.”

Part of a retail empire owned by the Mulliez

The stores closed in waves, and from Monday, Russian consumers were no longer be
able to shop in store or online, the company’s local website said, although some branches stayed open for returns.

The company’s repeated use of the word ‘temporary’ suggested that it may try to reopen stores when possible. On an FAQ page, it promised to save accrued loyalty points and let customers know when they could be used.

Decathlon declined to offer further comment on Monday.

The Mulliez family is also behind DIY retailer Leroy MerlinAuchan

In March, Decathlon said it would continue to support its 2,500 Russian staff, some of whom have been involved with the company since 2006.

*This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

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