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Starbucks will exit Russia after 15 years, closing 130 licensed cafes


One woman is seen drinking coffee from a Starbucks at Khimki Mall, outside Moscow.

Alexander Natruskin | Russia

Starbucks is leaving Russia after fifteen years in Russia. They will join other companies such as McDonald’s, Exxon MobilAnd British American Tobacco in withdrawing from the country completely.

It announced Monday that the Russian coffee giant will cease to have any brand presence. Starbucks operates 130 stores in Russia, accounting for less than 1 percent of its annual revenues. These are licensed places, and the Seattle-based company doesn’t own them.

Starbucks stated that they will pay the nearly 2,000 Russian employees for six months, and provide assistance to help them find new jobs outside of Starbucks.

Customers and investors pressured Western corporations like Starbucks to break ties with Russia. This was to protest the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. But, unwinding license agreements takes time. Starbucks has suspended all business activity with the country since March 8. This pause was necessary to ship all Starbucks products, as well as temporarily closing down cafes.

According to its quarterly reports, released in May, the company failed to disclose the financial effects of the business’s suspension. Kevin Johnson, former CEO, had previously pledged that royalties from Russia would be donated to humanitarian causes.

It was a much smaller financial loss than the one that McDonald’s suffered in Russia. for over 30 years.

Fast-food titan McDonald’s claimed that the suspension of significant Russian and Ukrainian operations had cost them $127million in their first quarter. These two markets made up 9% of the company’s revenue for 2021. Nearly 850 restaurants were owned and operated in Russia by the company.

On Thursday, McDonald’s announced it would be selling those locationsAn undisclosed sum will be paid to Siberian franchisees who will manage them under a new name.