First the burgers, then the coffee: After McDonald's, another large US chain is withdrawing from Russia. After the Starbucks branches had been shut down for months, the group is completely giving up its business in Russian cities.
Like McDonald's, the Starbucks coffee house chain is now withdrawing completely from Russia and is finally closing its 130 or so cafes in the country. "Starbucks has made the decision to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the market," the company said. The almost 2,000 employees of Starbucks cafes in Russia should therefore receive wages and help in finding new jobs for another six months.
Starbucks suspended operations in Russia in March to protest the invasion of Ukraine. Now Starbucks, whose 130 coffee shops in the country were operated by a licensee, is finally exiting the Russian market.
The withdrawal from Russia probably does not mean a financial blow. The Russian market accounts for less than 1 percent of Starbucks' annual sales. In its most recent quarterly results, released in early May, the company did not disclose the financial impact of the suspension of operations. Former CEO Kevin Johnson had pledged to donate royalties from the Russian company to humanitarian causes.
The coffee house chain is taking a similar path to McDonald's: the fast food giant announced a week ago that it would sell its approximately 850 burger restaurants in Russia. McDonald's later announced a purchase agreement with Russian businessman Alexander Govor, who already operates two dozen McDonald's restaurants in Siberia as a licensee.
Because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, numerous Western companies have withdrawn from the Russian market. The boycott ranges from Apple to BMW and Ikea to Siemens and Visa. Western countries have also imposed tough sanctions on Russia.