Decathlon resolves to suspend its activities in Russia

In Moscow, March 24, 2022.

The day-to-day management of Decathlon’s Russian boutiques got the better of the principles of the sports equipment brand. In a press release, the company announced on Tuesday, March 29, its decision to “suspend the operation of its stores”judging “that the conditions of supply [n’étaient] more united for [qu’elle poursuive] its activity in Russia ». Without announcing his withdrawal from the country.

The company, which only generates around 2% of its turnover there each year, had until then maintained its activity there. It justified this decision by the concern to allow the 2,500 people employed in its 60 stores to work “in safe conditions” and the service rendered to the population.

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However, as the days went by, the work of the teams in supply management became more and more complicated, the company importing most of its goods to fill the shelves of the stores. The fall of the ruble is not the only cause. Added to this were the closed ports, the impassable roads and the fact that it was necessary to check that the new carriers were not on the list of companies sanctioned by the West.

The 2,500 employees will continue to be paid

Not to mention that certain currencies, such as the dollar, were no longer accepted to pay bills. “In order to scrupulously respect international sanctions, all logistical decisions were made with our legal departments”, we explain within the group. From then on, the situation was too difficult to manage. “The decision was made in the last 48 hours. » The 2,500 employees will continue to be paid, as are their colleagues in Ukraine.

For its part, Auchan, another brand belonging to the Mulliez family which continues its activities in its 231 stores in Russia (10% of its worldwide turnover), is less handicapped by these problems of external supply, because it “operates in total autarky”, recalled the company, Sunday, March 27. Its suppliers are mostly locals, especially since the embargo imposed on Western food products in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, which gave a boost to the restructuring of the Russian food industry sector. “Before 2014, we sold French camembert. Today, they are Russian cheeses. And we have a lot of own brands”we underline at Auchan.

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“We make fresh bread in our stores every day for Ukrainians and for Russians, which is vital at the moment, said Yves Claude, CEO ofAuchan Retail, in the columns of Sunday newspaper, Sunday March 27. We act as a discounter and we believe we are contributing, in times of high inflation, to protecting the purchasing power of the inhabitants. If Auchan leaves, we will deprive 30,000 people of employment, 40% of whom are employees and shareholders. And our customers urge us to stay. »

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