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European chains Metro, SPAR still active in Ukraine, Russia -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: On February 11, 2020, a lag from German wholesaler Metro dances in front a St Augustin, Germany store, near Bonn. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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BERLIN (Reuters), – German food wholesaler Metro and Dutch retailer Spar International BV stated Wednesday that they remain in operation in Ukraine and Russia. They said their stores are being kept open by reducing hours and paying employees through international banks.

SPAR claimed that 95% were still operating in Western Ukraine, though with limited hours. Metro stated that only 21 of 26 of its Ukraine stores remain open.

SPAR spokeswoman could not give details on the stores that have suffered from Russia’s invasion of east Ukraine, but stated they are facing challenges with their supply chains.

SPAR stated that it has 68 stores across Ukraine, including both company-owned and independent shops.

SPAR Ukraine’s primary concern is safety for their customers and employees,” SPAR Ukraine stated. This sentiment echos Metro which has 3,400 Ukrainian workers.

German wholesalers claimed that no employees were injured during the conflict, and had evacuated their employees from Mariupol near the Russian border. The store was then closed for security reasons.

SPAR Russia and Metro Russia said that they continue to conduct business as normal, while the former pays salaries and supplies through international banks unaffected by the sanctions since the invasion.

Metro spokesperson stated that Metro feels responsible for Russia’s more than 10.000 employees. He added: “These individuals have no personal responsibility to the aggression against Ukraine.”

Metro has 93 locations in the country. While they did not provide any further details, Metro said that the decision to send employees overseas for their wages was not new.

Many global brands including Boeing (NYSE 🙂 and BP, have stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused them to withdraw or suspend operations.

($1 = 0.9029 euros)

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