Starbucks The Latest Company To Leave Russia

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Starbucks, which had previously suspended activities in Russia, said Monday it would totally exit the market
Starbucks, which had previously suspended activities in Russia, said Monday it would totally exit the market

Starbucks announced Monday that it will close all 130 of its stores in Russia. The coffee chain joins an ever-growing list of U.S. companies that left Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

Starbucks had paused all of its businesses in the region on March 8. The pause included ending shipments of its products and shuttering its cafes. In Monday's announcement, Starbucks clarified that it will support employees in the region for up to six months while they look for new opportunities.

⚡️ Starbucks to quit Russia after nearly 15 years.

The Seattle-based coffee chain has 130 stores with almost 2,000 employees throughout Russia, operated by its licensee Alshaya Group. Starbucks had paused operations in Russia in early March, now leaving for good.

The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 23, 2022

Those 130 stores in Russia account for only 1% of Starbucks' annual revenue. In its most recent earnings report, the Seattle-based company did not disclose how its pause in Russia impacted business. Most companies that left or scaled down their business in Russia reported losses.

At the start of Russia's invasion, many Western governments, allies, and citizens pressured companies to exit or scale down their presence in Russia. The goal was to apply pressure on the Russian economy, which would then force the Kremlin to rethink its military aggression. 

According to a list compiled by Yale, Starbucks has joined 327 other companies in completely withdrawing from the region. The list also shows there are over 1,000 companies that voluntarily curtailed their business in Russia since the war began in late February.

The list also includes the more recent announcement that McDonald's would withdraw its business from Russia. McDonald's also announced that it would sell its business to a Siberian franchise. That franchise will run the locations under a new brand. 

Despite the mass exodus, 215 companies still remain in Russia.

Photo: AFP

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