On Monday, May 23rd, Starbucks Corp said it would leave the Russian market after staying operational for nearly 15 years. The coffee chain joins other brands such as McDonald’s Corp in marking the end of the presence of some of the top global brands in the country. Seattle-based Starbucks has 130 stores in Russia and is operated by its licensee Alshaya Group, with nearly 2,000 employees. Starbucks’ decision to shut down its operation in Russia differs from the approach some other foreign companies have taken.
McDonald’s last week said it had plans to sell its restaurants in Russia to its local licensee Alexander Govor to be rebranded under a new name, but the company will retain its trademarks. At the same time, France’s Renault is selling the majority of its stake in Russia’s biggest carmaker with an option to buy back the stake.
A slew of other Western companies, including Shell and Imperial Brands, are cutting ties with the Russian market by agreeing to sell their assets in the country or handing them over to local managers. In March, Starbucks shut its stores and suspended all business activity in Russia, including the shipment of its products to the country, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.