Harvey Nichols has pulled out of its first store in Azerbaijan just four months after opening in the oil-rich state widely criticised for human rights abuses, The Guardian reports.
The seven-floor store in Baku’s Globus Plaza no longer runs under the upmarket department store’s name after a split with licence partner Perfomans, part of a local investment company.
A statement said: “Harvey Nichols has terminated its licence agreement with the operator of the Baku store. Consequently, the Baku store no longer operates under the Harvey Nichols brand.” The retailer said it could not comment further for legal reasons.
The Baku outlet was the department store’s eighth overseas venture, joining others in Turkey, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai. The 110,000 sq ft store was Harvey Nichols’ largest outside London, offering stylists, personal shoppers, restaurants, a beauty hall and more than 500 international designer brands.
At the time of the opening, Harvey Nichols’ chief executive, Stacey Cartwright, said: “This market is fast becoming one of the top luxury retail destinations in the world and we are excited to offer the ultimate in luxury shopping and hospitality to the discerning customer in Baku.”
But trade journal Retail Week reported that Harvey Nichols began moves to exit the store within weeks of opening.
Harvey Nichols’ exit from the country comes as it prepares to open a new store in Birmingham on Friday