Hugo Boss sells Russian business: Calls for transparency and commitment to Ukraine's reconstruction
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B4Ukraine welcomes the decision of the German fashion brand Hugo Boss to sell its Russia business to its local wholesale partner Stockmann, but urges the company to disclose further details of how this will work in practice. The deal, scheduled to close in the third quarter of 2024, will reportedly end Hugo Boss’ presence in Russia via its own legal entity.

As a coalition of over 90 civil society organizations actively urging Hugo Boss’ withdrawal from the Russian market, B4Ukraine considers this a step in the right direction. However, this business move calls for additional public disclosure from the company as well as a clear commitment to Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts, which will be widely discussed during the upcoming Ukraine Reconstruction Conference in Berlin this June.

One of the central questions, which calls for a clear response from the company’s management, is whether Hugo Boss plans to continue shipping its products directly to Russia, similar to the practice the fashion brand engaged in during the first year following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Another major question relates to the company’s proposed monitoring of any increases in product shipments to third countries, such as Kazakhstan or Georgia, in order to deter the common practice of “parallel imports.”

Having previously increased direct shipment of products into Russia despite promises to suspend its Russia business, the only right course of action for Hugo Boss is to fulfill its public pledge to exit as well as to donate any profits made after February 24, 2022, to Ukraine’s urgent humanitarian needs. After two years of invasion, this is the only morally acceptable course of action on behalf of a globally renowned fashion brand.

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