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Tesco halts F&F store openings in Russia

By Vivian Hendriksz


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Supermarket giant Tesco has reportedly put a pin in the opening of its debut F&F apparel stores in Russia following political unrest over the Ukrainian crisis and a decline in consumer spending.

The British retailer previously revealed plans to open its first F&F stores in Moscow, Russia this June with a local retail partner. Debruss, the franchise partner for department store group aimed to open at least two F&F stores in June and one in August in shopping malls in Moscow, but inside sources say none of the stores have opened or will open according to Reuters.

Tesco holds off on F&F store openings in Russia

A spokesperson for Debruss said that they were "not currently working with F&F" and declined to comment further. A source close to the situation claims that Afimall, a shopping center in Moscow, was ending its contract with the company representing F&F in Russia because the store scheduled to open in the mall had not opened in time.

"The company, acting on behalf of F&F, did not begin preparations ... We have information that F&F later revised plans on entering the Russian market," said the source. Tesco is believed to have been put off its apparel launch in Russia following the Western sanctions to be imposed due to the Ukraine crisis, in addition to a slump in consumer spending after the rouble currency devaluation at the end of 2014.

"The British do not have a very optimistic view on Russia, and country risks have prevailed," added the source. The news comes not long after Tesco's appointed Richard Price as F&F's new chief executive officer, who is set to take over helm of the apparel brand early next month. Tesco has yet to respond to the claims.

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