- A video shared online shows long lines forming outside Victoria's Secret stores in Russia.
- All of its seven stores in Russia closed this week.
- Dozens of western brands are temporarily closing doors in Russia because of the war in Ukraine.
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A video shared online this week by Belarusian news site Nexta shows long lines forming outside Victoria's Secret stores as Russians flocked to stock up before closures hit. Nexta is a Poland-based news channel mostly distributed through Telegram and YouTube and known for its reporting critical of the Belarus government and its rigged presidential election in 2020.
The video was published by Nexta on Wednesday, the same day as a note appeared on Victoria's Secret's Russian website informing shoppers that its stores would close from 15.30pm local time that afternoon.
Victoria's Secret is among the major Western brands to be pulling out of Russia as the conflict with Ukraine heightens. While some brands initially resisted closures, experts say it has become increasingly challenging to do business in Russia as logistics companies halt shipments there and sanctions imposed by the US and European countries make it more difficult to process international financial transactions.
There are seven Victoria's Secret stores in Russia, which are owned and operated by franchisee group Alshaya. While Victoria's Secret considers its international arm to be an important part of its business, it does not split out sales numbers for this region in its financial reports. A spokesperson for Victoria's Secret was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider.
While most Western brands have been reticent to share details on how much of an impact stores closures in Russia will have on their business, McDonald's is one of the few to be more outspoken about this.
Speaking at a UBS conference this week, McDonald's CFO Kevin Ozan said that while it is still evaluating the full impact on the business, it estimates that the closure of its nearly 850 restaurants in Russia will cost the chain around $50 million per month. McDonald's is one of the few Western fast-food chains that owns and operates the majority of its stores located in Russia. KFC and Burger King, for example, have mostly franchised restaurants in Russia.