Gap quit Russia, but its clothes kept coming

STORY: Clothing chain Gap said in early March that it had suspended deliveries to Russia, in protest at the conflict in Ukraine.

The U.S. firm said in a message to staff that it was always “proud to do the right thing”.

But in Moscow, the Gap clothes kept coming.

A Reuters analysis of Russian customs records shows the brand’s franchisee in the country received nearly 1,600 shipments between March and July.

More than three-quarters listed the sender as Gap Europe - a London-based unit of the firm.

The shipments included everything from socks to blouses and pajamas.

Such products don’t fall under western sanctions, but seem to contradict the Gap statement to its employees.

The firm subsequently told Reuters that it did facilitate deliveries until April - a month after it said they were suspended.

A spokesperson for Turkish firm Fiba Perakende, the Moscow franchisee, said later deliveries were down to Russian bureaucracy and delays in shipping via Turkey.

However, the majority of customs records seen by Reuters make no mention of any shipping via that country.

A woman who answered the phone at a Gap store in Moscow this week said it remained open, albeit with some stock items missing.

The chain has struggled in Europe of late, closing dozens of stores in the UK and Ireland.

It disclosed just $9.6 million in franchise sales in Russia for the last fiscal year.