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    Ikea and T.J. Maxx Halt Russia Operations


    Ikea and TJX, the owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, became the latest retailers to halt business operations in Russia, joining the growing number of Western companies condemning the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Ikea said on Thursday that it would pause all exports and imports to and from Russia and Belarus and would halt production and retail operations in Russia, affecting 15,000 of its employees.

    TJX said in a Thursday regulatory filing that it would divest its equity ownership in Familia, an off-price retailer with more than 400 stores in Russia, potentially taking an investment loss when the stake is sold. TJX paid $225 million in 2019 for its 25 percent stake in Familia, which is based in Luxembourg.

    “The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, and our deepest empathy and concerns are with the millions of people impacted,” Ikea said in a statement. “The war has had a huge human impact already. It is also resulting in serious disruptions to supply chain and trading conditions.”

    More European and American businesses have been ceasing sales and other operations in Russia and expressing their support for the Ukrainian people as the attacks on the country have worsened. Many, including Ikea, are making donations to provide assistance to people displaced by the escalating conflict and calling for peace. Retailers’ responses have ranged from halting online sales to shuttering a vast number of stores, and some have escalated their measures.

    This week, Apple and H&M Group said they were pausing all sales in Russia. H&M, which is based in Stockholm, said in an email that it had about 170 stores in Russia, where it first opened a location in 2009.

    Canada Goose, which is based in Toronto, said on Wednesday that it would cease wholesale and e-commerce sales to Russia “in light of the challenged operating environment and evolving sanctions against Russian interests.”

    Separately, Nike said on Thursday that it would temporarily close its roughly 116 stores in Russia, according to The Wall Street Journal. Nike had already paused online sales. Adidas did not address its Russian sales in an email to The New York Times on Thursday, but it said it had suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union and “will continue to follow the situation closely and take future business decisions and action as needed, prioritizing our employees’ safety and support.”

    Ikea said it would continue to operate its major chain of shopping centers, Mega, in Russia to ensure that customers had access to essentials like food and medication. It also said it had “secured employment and income stability for the immediate future” for affected employees.

    TJX, one of the biggest apparel sellers in the United States, said on Thursday that the carrying value of its Familia investment was $186 million as of Jan. 29, based on the valuation of Russian rubles to U.S. dollars, according to its filing. The company also said two of its employees had resigned from positions on Familia’s board of directors as part of its divestment.

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