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Sephora Is Exiting Russia

The prestige beauty retailer is selling its Russian subsidiary.

PARIS — Sephora is exiting Russia.

The prestige beauty retailer said Monday that it has inked an agreement to sell all of the shares in its subsidiary in the country to its general manager there.

The move, according to Sephora in a statement, has been done to favor “continuity for employees.”

The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned retailer in early March suspended its operations in Russia, after the start of the war in Ukraine.

At the time, Sephora issued a statement saying: “Given our increasing concerns about the current context and the complexity to operate, we will suspend our activity in Russia until further notice. We will close our stores and e-commerce within the next 24 hours. The safety of our local teams is our priority and we will continue to support them in this difficult time.”

Once the deal with the Sephora general manager in Russia closes, the activity will be operated under the Russian retail brand Île de Beauté.

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Sephora entered Russia originally through franchises, but closed down that operation in 2008. Then Sephora took a minority stake, of 45 percent, in Île de Beauté in October 2008.

Sephora progressively took more shares in Île de Beauté, which was created in 2001. Sephora took full control of the retailer in 2016, after which the Sephora brand was introduced into Russia and the Île de Beauté stores were rebranded Sephora.

Sephora has 88 stores and an e-tail activity in Russia. Those are to be run separately, under the Île de Beauté name, once clearance is given. That is expected to be in a few weeks, according to someone close to the matter.

According to industry sources, Sephora’s Russian business generated less than 3 percent of the retailer’s total sales.

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