Video Shows Customers Packing Russian Ikea as Company Closes Locations

Multiple videos circulating on social media show massive lines of customers filling Russian Ikea stores after the company announced that it was temporarily closing stores in the country due to the nation's ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

In a tweet on Thursday, Oleksandr Shcherba, who previously served as Ukraine's ambassador to Austria, shared a video of a Russian Ikea location with a caption that read, "Russians stocking up on IKEA merchandise. The last chance before IKEA leaves."

The video begins by showing a large number of customers waiting in line at an Ikea store in Russia. Some of the lines shown in the video can be seen wrapping around different parts of the store.

Andrey Zakharov, a Russian investigative reporter for the BBC, also shared a similar video on Twitter.

"Queues at IKEA in St. Petersburg (the store will close tomorrow)," a translated caption from Zakharov read.

Similar videos, showing long lines of customers at Russian Ikea locations were also posted on Reddit.

On Thursday, Ikea, the world's biggest furniture company, announced that it was temporarily halting operations at all of its 17 locations in Russia as well as stopping operations in Belarus.

"The devastating war in Ukraine is a human tragedy and our deepest empathy and concerns are with the millions of people impacted. The immediate actions of Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group have been to support the personal safety and security of IKEA co-workers and their families, and we will continue to do so," Ikea's owner Ingka Group said in a statement. "The war has a huge human impact already. It is also resulting in serious disruptions to supply chain and trading conditions. For all of these reasons, the company groups have decided to temporarily pause IKEA operations in Russia."

In addition to temporarily closing retail locations in Russia, the company also said that they are pausing import and export operations "in and out of Russia and Belarus," as well as halting Ikea production services in Russia.

The announcement by Ikea comes as a number of different companies have started to boycott Russia as war continues to rage in Ukraine.

Clothing company H&M Group made a similar announcement on Thursday saying that the company was temporarily pausing all sales in Russia.

"H&M Group is deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and stand with all the people who are suffering," the company said in a statement. "H&M Group has decided to temporarily pause all sales in Russia. The stores in Ukraine have already been temporarily closed due to the safety of customers and colleagues."

Other companies and brands such as Apple, Spotify and Disney, have also announced similar actions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Newsweek was directed to the statement issued by Ingka Group on Thursday after reaching out for comment.

Videos posted on social media showed Russians crowding Ikea locations after the company announced that it was temporarily closing locations in the nation. Warren Little/Getty