The top shopping destinations for Russians are Milan, Paris and Rome, according to research by Global Blue, a VAT tax-refund company. It says about 60 percent of Russian travellers are luxury shoppers who spend their money in Europe's fashion capitals.
"Sanctions against Russia—depending on their possible shape and form—could be a negative for luxury goods companies, especially if they brought a reduction in the number of Russian tourists coming to Europe,'' said Exane BNP Paribas luxury goods analyst Luca Solca.
(Read more: Ukraine, Russia skirmish has global shockwaves)
Solca estimated that Russians account for between 5 and 7 percent of global spending on personal luxury goods.
Shares in luxury industry leader LVMH had fallen 2.5 percent by mid-afternoon. Swatch Group was down 2.1 percent, Burberry 1.6 percent and Mulberry Group 2.7 percent. France's benchmark CAC-40 index was down 2.3 percent.