Starbucks to exit Russia, close 130 outlets

Starbucks opened its first store in Russia in 2007.

Matthias Ang | May 24, 2022, 01:35 PM

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Starbucks will leave Russia after 15 years of operations, making it the latest international firm to exit the country following the invasion of Ukraine, CNBC reported.

It will close all 130 of its cafes around the country, which is owned and operated under a licensee, the Kuwait-based franchise company Alshaya Group, according to the BBC.

In addition, Starbucks it will continue to pay its Russian staff of nearly 2,000 for six months and help them "transition to new opportunities" outside of the coffee chain.

Suspended business in March

On May 23, the U.S. coffee chain said that it had made the decision to exit and "no longer have a brand presence", following the temporary suspension of its business in Russia in March, the Financial Times reported.

Starbucks opened its first store in Russia in 2007, at a mall north of Moscow, two years after it won a legal dispute against an unlicensed operator regarding the use of its name.

CNBC further reported that Starbucks' outlets in Russia account for less than one per cent of its annual revenue.

However, the company did not disclose the financial impact of the suspension of its operations in its latest quarterly results released in May.

The BBC highlighted that Starbucks' move came shortly after McDonald's announced that it is selling its approximately 850 restaurants to a Russian licensee, Alexander Govor, who will likely run them under a new brand.

Other brands either leaving Russia or pausing operations:

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Top photos via Starbucks Russia/Facebook