Sri lanka News – Decathlon, a France-based a sportswear brand said it is closing stories in Sri Lanka after an import ban imposed amid a currency crisis, made it impossible for the firm to operate in the country.
“Decathlon will indefinitely suspend all retail operations in Sri Lanka (store and eCommerce) from 30th October 2022, the company said in a statement.
“Due to the ongoing situation in the country it has become impossible for us to resupply our product ranges.”
The company hopes to continue production activities in the island.
“We sincerely hope to restart our retail activities in Sri Lanka when circumstances permit,” the firm said.
“DECATHLON’s production activities in Sri Lanka will continue to operate as normal.”
Decathlon had operated a retail store in Battaramulla, Sri Lanka since 2018, while also operating an e-commerce website. Another store in Union Place was closed in July 31, 2022, the company said.
The company based in France is currently operating in 60 countries with 1,747 stores.
Sri Lanka imposed an import ban on over 300 items in August, amid the worst currency crisis triggered in the history of the island’s soft-pegged central bank.
Forex shortages are a problem associated with soft-pegged regimes, and are absent in clean floats and hard pegs and is linked to money and credit.
Import bans have no effect as long as credit fired by printed money continues.
The lastest import ban however came amid a steep correction in the balance of payments after the central bank allowed rates to go up, reducing private credit and investments.
The banned items include dairy products, cosmetics, electrical goods, watercraft, ships, aircraft, electrical and electronic goods and building material.
Some industrial machinery including metalworking machinery, packing machines and ball bearings have also been halted. Many small and medium industries have said they are facing difficulties.
(Colombo/ Sep 10/2022)