L'Occitane keeps Russian stores open despite pressure to cease operations
L'Occitane will keep its stores in Russia open despite the invasion of Ukraine to protect staff from potential "retaliation".
The French beauty brand said while it strongly condemns Russia's "unjustified and unprovoked" invasion, and has stopped investment plans and shipments to Russia, the company could not take the "risk" of closing its shops.
L'Occitane, which has spas and stores in Russian cities including Moscow and St Petersburg, also refused to confirm the suspension of online sales in Russia and the impact of halting its Russia-bound shipments, according to the BBC.
A spokesperson from L'Occitane told the BBC: "At this point we cannot guarantee that our 700 employees in Russia will not face retaliation if we cease to operate in the country.
"We are particularly concerned for those of our employees who have relatives in Ukraine or who are of Ukrainian descent. At the same time, we are firmly committed to our partners and their employees in Ukraine."
Despite scaling back its Russian operations, the company faces widespread criticism from customers, who have called for a boycott of the brand which is sold at more than 3,085 retail outlets worldwide with global net sales of £1.3 billion last year.