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Chanel restricts sales to Russians abroad amid war in Ukraine Lifestyle

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Thomas Adamsan – Associated Press

PARIS (AP) – Chanel’s elite fashion brand says it has stopped selling clothes, perfumes and other luxury items to Russian customers abroad if they plan to take the products home – a bold response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The move came after a Parisian loyalist had already closed his boutiques in Russia, which many companies in all industries did in response to the war.

This next step, Chanel says, is simply a case of the implementation of trade sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union, Switzerland and others, which prohibit transactions with individuals.

“Recent EU and Swiss sanctions include a ban on the sale, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, of luxury items to any natural or legal person, legal person or body in Russia or for use in Russia.” This was stated in a statement by Chanel on Wednesday.

We are talking about products worth more than 300 euros ($ 328) – this is most of Chanel’s designer products.

“We have launched a process to ask customers for whom we do not know the main place of residence to confirm that the items they purchase will not be used in Russia,” Chanel said, without elaborating on the process.

This is a difficult measure to implement, but some influential Russian social networks have already said they are being asked for ID and denied the opportunity to buy goods at Chanel boutiques from Paris to the United Arab Emirates.

Russian secular lioness Anna Kalashnikova said last week that she saw “Russophobia in action” after she was not allowed to buy earrings and a Chanel bag at a Dubai mall.

Fashion insiders believe that the decision of the brand was not easy, because they will suffer a financial blow.

“For Chanel, it’s bold – it’s almost unprecedented. The house puts its principles above money, ”said Long Nguyen, a well-known fashion critic.

“Russia is one of their largest luxury markets, and Chanel will certainly suffer financial damage from this choice,” he said. – But it is also political for the brand, as it wants to appeal to Generation Z customers, who are largely opposed to the war. ”

Nguyen said Chanel’s move was “more than just the application of sanctions laws.”

Qing Wang, a professor of marketing and innovation at Warwick Business School and an expert on luxury brands, said: “Taking such a bold political stance is not without risk.”

She referred to a study by PR firm Clutch, which found that consumers generally believe that brands should be silent on political issues.

“Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) said they are likely to continue shopping at businesses that are silent on issues that concern them,” Wang said in a statement. a step too far that borders on Russophobia (which could harm the brand) remains to be seen. ”

Luxury giants Kering and LVMH did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether they also plan to curb sales to Russians.

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