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Harrods placed sanctions on Russian shoppers

Harrods has been scouring its customer database for those who have a Russian phone number or have stated that they live in the country.
Harrods has been scouring its customer database for those who have a Russian phone number or have stated that they live in the country. Image Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Their yachts were sanctioned first, and then their assets were frozen. Now, in what may be the most painful blow yet, Russians have been told they cannot shop at Harrods – at least not seriously.

According to the Source, the Knightsbridge department store has notified Russian customers that it will no longer sell them "luxury goods" worth more than £300.

The move is being decided to make to comply with sanctions imposed in the aftermath of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, according to the store.

It means that items ranging from jewelry and designer clothing to furniture and gym equipment are no longer permitted, but it is unclear whether Harrods' famous food hampers, which can cost up to £1,000, would also be prohibited.

The £300 limit will leave Russian shoppers with few options for designer handbags, forcing them to settle for the Harrods-branded green backpack with Jacob the bear motif (only £35) instead. The majority of the cashmere scarves in the store would also be prohibited.

The Qatar-owned store has been scouring its customer database for those who have a Russian phone number or have stated that they live in the country.

According to an email seen by The source from the store to one wealthy Russian, "as you may be aware, the UK authorities have introduced further regulations as part of their ongoing sanctions against Russia that specifically target the sale of luxury goods."

"The regulations seek to prohibit the supply of many categories of luxury goods valued at more than a certain amount (generally £300) to individuals who are currently or ordinarily in Russia."

Harrods has refused to comment on how the ban may affect its business.
Harrods has refused to comment on how the ban may affect its business. Image Credit: Editorial Photographer: Victor Huang

The letter includes a link to the new regulations and advises the customer to "review them."

"To comply with these regulations, Harrods has been required to review its customer information to identify those customers who appear (based on the country or phone number information they have provided to us) to be currently or usually resident in Russia," it said.

"We have identified you as someone who may currently or ordinarily reside in Russia based on this information." If this is correct, you will be subject to the regulations and we will be unable to provide you with any restricted luxury goods."

The department store has refused to comment on how any ban might affect its business.

After being heavily chastised in March for continuing to sell expensive Russian vodka following the invasion of Ukraine, it is perhaps unsurprising that it appears eager to enforce the letter of the sanctions regulations. It admitted to "inadvertently" selling Beluga vodka, with bottles costing more than £100.

However, its decision to limit purchases to £300 is likely to elicit accusations of discrimination from affected Russians.

Last month, Russian influencers posted videos on social media cutting up their Chanel handbags after the couture brand barred them from making new purchases.

"To ensure we are complying with these restrictions, we reviewed our database to identify potentially impacted customers, and asked them to notify Harrods if the information we hold is not accurate and current," Harrods said in a statement. This was based on address/contact information or previous transaction delivery data rather than nationality.

"Our priority is to comply with regulations while also informing potentially impacted customers about how this may limit their ability to shop at Harrods and ensuring that wider customers are not adversely affected." We are pleased that we were able to take this action and assist customers in becoming aware of recent government regulations."

Source

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1 Comments

  1. AnonymousMay 14, 2022

    This is racist persecution of individual people who have no control over anything their government does. I am beginning to think those people who said the vaccine would alter human DNA were right after all. It is like the whole world is desending into an evil parody of itself where no one remembers what the difference between right and wrong is anymore even though prior to 2020, persecution or discrimination against people on the grounds of race or nationality would have never been tolerated. Now they just legitamize it by calling it "sanctions".

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