Companies in the home improvement industry have joined the response to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The UK’s Kingfisher group has stopped selling the limited number of products that are directly sourced from Russian and Belarussian suppliers.
Kingfisher in Poland and Romania
The group’s subsidiary companies in Poland and Romania have started fundraising campaigns. Brico Dépôt Romania is donating items such as beds, nappies and other products, while Castorama Poland is providing generators, chargers and torches. The chain no longer sells products from Russia and Belarus. Employees from the stores are working as volunteers in refugee aid. Support is also being provided to colleagues who have taken refugees into their homes, according to the company. The Kingfisher head office is making cash donations.
Ikea closes stores
Ikea has temporarily closed its stores in Russia and Belarus. The Swedish company is halting its production in Russia and is no longer accepting deliveries from suppliers.
Leroy Merlin in Ukraine and Russia
The French DIY chain Leroy Merlin (Adeo) has published a post on the homepage of its online shop featuring a heart in Ukraine’s national colours of blue and yellow. The text accompanying it includes the words "We will win! Glory to Ukraine!" The website also says: "The shops are closed. We are still accepting all online orders but do not guarantee timely delivery due to the current situation."
Leroy Merlin also operates in Russia and is the market leader there. Obi is another of the leading DIY chains in Russia. Employees of Russian companies in the sector are expressing their horror at their country's actions.
Epicentr stores on fire
The market leader in Ukraine, the Ukrainian company Epicentr, posted a picture of a burning DIY store on Facebook. The text accompanying it says that markets in Chernihiv and Mariupol have burned down. The post begins with the words: "We continue to help the defenders of Ukraine!" According to this post, the company has been supplying the Ukrainian armed forces with building materials and tools, along with other items, since the beginning of the invasion.
Koelnmesse ends cooperation
Koelnmesse is ending its cooperation with "our partners in Russia, some of whom have been with us for many years and whom we do not blame for the events and who are now de facto banned from participating". CEO Gerald Böse said in a statement, however, that the company would remain in contact.
For manufacturers in the DIY and garden sector, the war has also led to a halt in business relations. Deliveries and payments are practically impossible at the moment. Production sites in Russia are also stopping work. For all companies contacted by the DIY International editorial team, the first concern is for employees and partners in Ukraine. Numerous companies have initiated or joined fundraising campaigns.