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Japanese holding company Fast Retailing has reportedly decided to continue its operations in Russia despite several other retailers choosing to exit or temporarily suspend sales in the country due to its invasion of Ukraine.

Bloomberg reported that the company’s chairman, president and CEO Tadashi Yanai said the conflict ‘should not deprive humans of their basic needs’.

Yanai was quoted as saying: “Clothing is a necessity of life. The people of Russia have the same right to live as we do.”

Fast Retailing, which operates 50 Uniqlo stores in Russia, said that it would ‘continue to monitor the situation’ in the country.

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By GlobalData

The company also announced it would donate $10m and 200,000 items of clothing to the United Nations’ (UN) refugee agency to support those affected by the conflict.

Yanai added: “There should never be war. Every country should oppose it.

“This time, all of Europe clearly opposes the war and has shown its support for Ukraine.

“Any attempt to divide the world will, on the contrary, strengthen unity.”

In a separate development, Zara owner Inditex has temporarily closed all 502 of its stores in Russia, as well as its online operations in the country.

Italian luxury label Prada has also announced the suspension of its retail sales in Russia.

Puma has halted the operations of its 100 stores in the country after initially suspending deliveries to it.

UK-based supermarket chain Asda is removing products of Russian origin from both its stores and its online channels, while British consumer co-operative Co-op has removed Russian-made vodka from its retail shelves.

Last week, a number of leading fashion retailers, including H&M, ASOS and Nike, temporarily halted sales in Russia in response to the invasion.

US-based off-price department retailer TJX Companies (TJX) also announced plans to divest a stake in Russian off-price retail chain Familia.