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Starbucks To Exit Russia After Nearly 15 Years

By Dave Simpson

Starbucks Corp SBUX.O said on Monday 23 May that it will exit the Russian market after nearly 15 years as the coffee chain joins McDonald's Corp MCD.N in marking the end of the presence of some of the top western brands in the country.

Details

Seattle-based Starbucks has 130 stores in Russia, operated by its licensee Alshaya Group, with nearly 2,000 employees in the country.

Starbucks' decision to wind down its operation in Russia is different to the approach some other foreign companies have taken.

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McDonald's last week said that it was selling its restaurants in Russia to its local licensee Alexander Govor to be rebranded under a new name, but will retain its trademarks, while France's Renault RENA.PA is selling its majority stake in Russia's biggest carmaker with an option to buy back the stake.

A slew of other Western companies, including Imperial Brands IMB.L and Shell SHEL.L, are cutting ties with the Russia market by agreeing to sell their assets in the country or handing them over to local managers.

In March, Starbucks shuttered its stores and suspended all business activity in Russia, including the shipment of its products to the country, following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The company, which opened its first outlet in Russia in 2007, said that it will continue to support its employees there, including paying them for six months.

Financial Impact

Starbucks did not provide details on the financial impact of the exit. McDonald's had said that it would take a primarily non-cash charge of up to $1.4 billion.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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