Starbucks withdraws name from Russia after 15 years

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Starbucks withdraws name from Russia after 15 years
A closed Starbucks store in RussiaImage source, Reuters

Starbucks Corp is withdrawing its brand from Russia after 15 years, the latest Western corporation to quit the country after the war in Ukraine.

The coffee chain said it would wind down its business in Russia, after suspending operations there in March.

Starbucks entered Russia in 2007 and had grown to include 130 coffee shops, owned and operated by a licensee.

The move comes as the war continues, with no clear end in sight.

The US and Western allies responded to the war by hitting Russia with wide ranging economic sanctions aimed at isolating it economically and cutting it off from the global financial system. The rules make it difficult for Western companies to operate there.

Starbucks had stopped shipments to Russia in March. It said it had now "made the decision to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the market".

It did not give details of the financial impact of the decision, but said it would continue to pay nearly 2,000 staff at Starbucks shops in the country for six months and provide assistance to partners "to transition to new opportunities outside of Starbucks".

The Kuwait-based Alshaya Group, which owns and operates the Starbucks stores, said the decision to leave was a "Starbucks announcement" and referred questions to the coffee chain.

Last week, McDonald's announced that it was selling its nearly 850 restaurants in Russia to a current licensee, Russian businessman Alexander Govor, and French carmaker Renault also said its business had been nationalised and would be run by Russian government entities.

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