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Massive queues in Moscow as shoppers take last chance to shop at H&M

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theguardian.com

Long lines of Russian shoppers formed outside H&M stores in Moscow shopping centres this week when the Swedish fashion retailer reopened its doors to sell off stock before pulling out of the country for good.Along with a spate of other western brands including Ikea, Nike and Zara owner Inditex, H&M halted operations in Russia after its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, but the retailer opened its doors one last time this week to clear out remaining goods.Exiting Russia, its sixth-biggest market, is costing the company 2bn Swedish krona (nearly £170m) and affecting 6,000 staff.Long queues were seen outside H&M stores at Moscow’s Aviapark shopping centre, according to footage posted on Telegram by news outlet Baza, and at the Metropolis mall.“Well, it is closing, that’s why we are standing here,” one customer, Irina, told Reuters. “I’m going to buy whatever there is.”Another shopper, Ekaterina, said: “Sadly, the reason why all this is happening is awful.

Everything else is meaningless, like how we are going to manage [without H&M].”While the Swedish furniture chain Ikea opted to hold an online-only sale from 5 July, H&M decided to temporarily reopen its stores in August.

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