Leroy Merlin is one of the most important multinational chains of home and DIY warehouses, we have all made purchases at least once in one of their stores (the diffusion is widespread), but from 24 February 2022 something has changed for the French brand .
Leroy Merlin has long been indicated as a sponsor of the war by the Ukrainian government (you can consult the website War & Sanctions to have the complete list of all the companies considered sponsors of the war), despite this it continues to do business with the Kremlin and grease the wheels of the Russian war machine with huge proceeds deriving from the taxes paid.
Leroy Merlin, business as usual in Russia
In the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many large Western companies working in Russia, such as Ikea or McDonald's, immediately began operations to reduce their activities due to the international criminal's exit from the federation. putin, others however, and this is the case of Leroy Merlin, sent the accusations of collaboration with Russian terrorists back to the sender and continued their business on Russian soil as if nothing had happened.
We remember that working with the Russian terrorist state it means not only embarking on a path that has nothing ethical about it, but involves the payment of taxes on the proceeds which do nothing but finance the war machine of the Russian army, further prolonging this war.
Leroy Merlin's position on the war in Ukraine
In March 2022, Leroy Merlin's position was clear even if full of justifications that were difficult to understand: we understand the situation, but leaving would be a gift to Russia which would expropriate all our assets. So we also stay to help the 45.000 Russian workers in our warehouses, who, according to Leroy Merlin, are victims of a war they did not choose. We're not joking, it was actually said that way.
In reality, everything is explained by the fact that the Russian market represents approximately 20% of their business for Leroy Merlin.
An implicit admission of guilt hidden by vague and vague words.
The continuous pressure received from international organizations (such as B4Ukraine) have not moved the DIY warehouse giant one millimeter which has preferred to maintain a religious silence and continue to act as if nothing had happened.
Leroy Merlin out of Russia?
In March 2023 there seemed to be a turning point. Adeo Group (owner of Leroy Merlin) announced in a communique to have started the procedures for the transfer of the warehouses present in Russia to local management. What does this mean? Little or nothing. First of all there is no question of a change of ownership, there is no talk of rebranding or anything that could even remotely come close to an exit from Russia. Without other indications (and Adeo Group has not given any) it seems like nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Shopping at Leroy Merlin again
Every consumer has great power in their hands (or rather pockets). Choose where and how to make purchases to send a signal to those who really don't want to hear about ethical or moral issues. The images of Bucha, Irpin and the millions of Ukrainians who queued for hours in the cold to escape the war are still vivid in our eyes, pretending nothing happened is not an option.
Leroy Merlin took sides in this war. We too can and must do it.