Now Co-op removes Russian Standard VODKA from its shelves

Now Co-op removes Russian Standard VODKA from its shelves as Marks & Spencer halts shipments to its stores in Russia as yet more companies sever ties with Moscow over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

  • Co-op said it had taken the vodka off sale ‘with immediate affect’ due to the war 
  • A spokesman said this was due to it being ‘overtly marketed as being Russian’
  • M&S said it halted all shipments to Russian stores, also due to the growing crisis 
  • The retailer has more than 40 franchise-run stores in Russia, with the majority of these based in Moscow

Co-op Food has removed Russian-made vodka from sale and Marks & Spencer has halted shipments to its Russian stores as the commercial backlash against Vladimir Putin’s shocking invasion of Ukraine continues.

Russian Standard vodka has been taken off sale ‘with immediate effect’ as the brand is ‘overtly marketed as being Russian’ and is produced in the country, a spokesman for Co-op said today. 

He said: ‘In response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces and as a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we have taken the decision to remove from sale Russian-made vodka. 

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer said it has stopped sending to stores, which are operated by Turkish franchise partners, ‘given the unfolding humanitarian crisis following the invasion of Ukraine’.

M&S has more than 40 franchise-run stores in Russia, with the majority of these based in Moscow. 

Russian Standard vodka has been taken off sale ‘with immediate effect’ as the brand is ‘overtly marketed as being Russian’ and is produced in the country, a spokesman for Co-op said today

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer said it has stopped sending to stores, which are operated by Turkish franchise partners, ‘given the unfolding humanitarian crisis following the invasion of Ukraine’. Pictured: A Marks & Spencer store seen in Moscow

It is the latest brand to seek to sever ties with Russia following the invasion, with the likes of Boohoo, Ikea and H&M all announcing plans to stop Russian sales in recent days, while Co-op’s decision follows a host of UK bars and hospitality firms stopping the sale of Russian vodka due to the invasion.

‘Russian Standard has been taken off sale with immediate effect because it is overtly marketed as being Russian and produced there,’ the Co-Op spokesman said.

‘It will not be stocked for the foreseeable future. ‘A Polish distilled alternative will be sold in our stores in its place. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who oppose this invasion.’  

He added: ‘Our members and customers will also be able to support the humanitarian response to help those displaced by the conflict by donating at our stores to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal. 

‘The appeal will launch across our 2,600 stores today and we’ll be match funding our customers donations up to £100,000.’ 

M&S said: ‘We are doing everything we can to support the people of Ukraine, and in response to the growing refugee crisis we are building on our existing support for Unicef UK’s Ukraine appeal with a £1.5 million package to support the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and Unicef to help children and families in need.’

British and international companies have continued to remove their products from Russia as the world protests the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, with the country already losing £100 billion of trade. 

Shoppers swarmed to stores to pick up last-minute bargains in Moscow (pictured) and St Petersburg as well as at Siberian outlets in Omsk and Novosibirsk, all of which closed their doors today for the foreseeable future along with several other locations

IKEA stores in Russia are experiencing huge queues as people rush to buy furniture and home essentials after the Swedish homewares giant after it announced a suspension of operations amid the invasion of Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, fashion brands BooHoo, H&M and Burberry, and music streaming site Spotify are among some of the other big name brands to reduce their ties with the nation. 

Jaguar Land Rover, HSBC, BP and Shell have all already announced they are leaving Russia, while Mastercard and Visa have even blocked Russian institutions from using its payment systems.

No part of life has been left untouched, with Disney joining other film companies in pausing the release of its films in the country, meaning the upcoming Pixar film Lightyear might not be shown on big screens. 

In total more than £100 billion of trade ties have already been severed with the increasingly isolated nation, with no sign the ever-largening embargo is set to lose momentum.

Nightcap Group and Arc Inspirations are among bar operators to remove vodka and other alcohol products from Russia from their venues in a move of solidarity with people in Ukraine.

Sarah Willingham, former Dragon’s Den entrepreneur and founder of Nightcap, described the move as a ‘little thing’ the business could do in response to the conflict.

London-listed Nightcap runs 27 sites across its London Cocktail Club, Barrio Bars and Adventure Bar Group businesses.

Finland and Sweden banned liquor sourced from Russia on Monday, followed by Norway on Tuesday.

Supermarket chains including Top! and Elvi in Latvia, Coop and Rimi in Estonia and Norfa and Maxima in Lithuania also banned vodka among all goods originating from Russia.

Meanwhile, Leeds-based bar owner Arc Inspirations also confirmed it would stop serving Russian vodka.

The bar business said on Twitter: ‘To show our support to the people of Ukraine we will no longer be pouring any Russian vodka in any of our bars £standwithukraine.’

Elsewhere, the founder of Bundobust, which runs hospitality venues in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, also called on the sector to find alternatives for Russian products.

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