Zara prepares to return to Ukraine amidst lingering conflict with Russia

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After an extended hiatus due to the conflict in Ukraine, retail giant Zara is gearing up to reopen many of its stores in the country. The Spanish brand had closed its 84 stores in Ukraine, as well as its operations in Russia, following Russia’s invasion of its neighbor in February 2022, which has resulted in a tragic loss of over 30,000 lives.

Inditex, the owner of Zara, informed the Financial Times that it will start by gradually reopening its stores in Ukraine, beginning with the relaunch of 20 stores in Kyiv shopping centers. The company aims to eventually increase the number of operating shops to 50. However, its 34 remaining shops are located in areas directly impacted by the war in south and east Ukraine, where the Ukrainian government has prohibited commercial operations.

Inditex emphasized that the safety of its employees and customers is its top priority. Despite this, the company has not yet responded to requests for comment from Euronews Business.

Zara’s decision to resume operations in Ukraine follows in the footsteps of other brands that initially suspended operations in both Russia and Ukraine due to the outbreak of the conflict. For example, Zara’s main rival, H&M, resumed operations in the country last November.

The reopening of Zara’s stores in Ukraine signals a gradual return to normalcy in the region, despite the ongoing conflict. The move also underscores the resilience of businesses in the face of adversity, as they strive to navigate complex geopolitical situations while prioritizing the safety and well-being of their employees and customers.

(Source: Financial Times | Euro News | Reuters)

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