Market: Starbucks leaves Russia after almost 15 years of presence

(Reuters) – Starbucks said on Monday it would pull out of the Russian market after nearly 15 years, following in the footsteps of other Western multinationals.

McDonald’s announced last week that it was selling its restaurants in Russia to Russian businessman Alexander Govor, who already operates franchise restaurants in Siberia and will continue the US group’s operations under a different name.

Starbucks, headquartered in Seattle, has 130 stores in Russia, wholly owned and operated by local licensee Alshaya Group, which employs nearly 2,000 people in the country.

The company did not provide details on the financial impact of the exit. McDonald’s said it expected an exceptional charge of 1.2 to 1.4 billion dollars (1.15 to 1.34 billion euros), following its decision to exit the Russian market.

In early March, Starbucks had closed its stores and suspended all business activity in Russia, including shipping its products to the country, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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

Russian outlet Sota Vision reported earlier today, citing a source, that Starbucks was closing its Russian legal entity.

Other Western companies, including Imperial Brands and Shell, have cut their ties with the Russian market by agreeing to sell their assets in the country or hand them over to local managers.

(Report Deborah Sophia in Bangalore; French version Federica Mileo, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)

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