The Telegraph reports that Harrods department store has contacted Russian customers warning that it will no longer sell them “luxury goods” worth more than £300.
The move, the store said, is in order to comply with sanctions introduced in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
It means items, ranging from jewellery and designer clothing to furniture and gym equipment, are now off limits, but it is unclear whether Harrods famous food hampers, which can cost up to £1,000, would also be on the banned list.
The £300 limit will leave Russian shoppers with little choice in the way of designer handbags, meaning they might have to settle for the Harrods-branded green backpack complete with Jacob the bear motif (only £35) instead. Most of the store’s cashmere scarves would be forbidden, too.
The Qatar-owned store has been combing its customer database, singling out those with a Russian phone number or who have said they live in the country.
An email sent by the store to one wealthy Russian, which has been seen by The Telegraph, said: “As you may be aware, the UK authorities have introduced further regulations as part of their ongoing sanctions against Russia which specifically target the sale of luxury goods.
“The regulations seek to prohibit the supply of many categories of luxury goods over certain values (generally £300) to individuals who are either currently or ordinarily in Russia.”
The letter includes a link to the new regulations and encouraged the customer to “review them”.
It said: “To comply with these regulations, Harrods has been required to review its customer information to identify those customers who it appears (by reference to the country or phone number information they have provided to us) might currently or usually be resident in Russia.
“Based on this information, we have identified you as someone who might currently or ordinarily be resident in Russia. If this is correct, this would mean that you are subject to the regulations and we will be unable to supply you with any restricted luxury goods.”
Read more via The Telegraph