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Sportswear giant Adidas to close 200 stores in Russia

The German company often uses the advertising slogan: “Impossible is Nothing” but it would seem it is no longer possible for Adidas to continue trading in Russia, where earlier on Friday President Vladimir Putin took a 10 percent pay hit and demanded many of his close government officials do so as well.

There will still be around 800 stores left in Russia but the 20 per cent reduction in stores has raised many eyebrows among watchers of the escalating economic deterioration in Russia. The Russian ruble is currently in free-fall and since last July the currency has lost 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar. A lot of the downfall in the Russian economy can be blamed on the huge fall in the oil prices in the past eight months.

In July 2014, oil was selling at around $140 per barrel but in January it dipped as low as just $44 per barrel. It has since recovered to a figure of around $51 per barrel but with Western Sanctions against Russia beginning to bite hard, the economy in the former Soviet lead state has tanked.

Adidas is not the first outside retailer to scale down Russian operations. Fashion brands Esprit and River Island announced they would be quitting Russia as keeping stores open there is financially crippling.

Russia’s economy relies heavily on the price of oil being high and the intensive production of fracking in the southern parts of the U.S. and a slow-down in demand from China have battered Russia’s fragile economy by helping to bring down world oil prices.

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