Bill Handel

Bill Handel

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Starbucks to Close 130 Stores in Russian Market Exit

Starbucks Paper Coffee Cups

Photo: Getty Images

It’s official: Starbucks is pulling out of the Russian market.

The coffee giant based out of Seattle mass-messaged its employees on Monday announcing its decision to close its 130 stores and to completely remove the brand’s presence in Russia. The company said it will continue to pay its nearly 2,000 Russian employees for six months in order to help them transition into new jobs.

Last week, McDonald’s found a purchaser for all its locations in Russia as it, too, made the move to exit from the Russian market. Those stores won’t be allowed to use McDonald’s name or menu.

Kuwait-based franchise operator Alshaya Group owns and operates Starbucks stores across the globe. A spokesperson for Alshaya referred questions to Starbucks on Monday following the announcement.

Having entered the Russian market back in 2007, the initial plan following the Russian invasion of Ukraine was to keep its Russian stores open, but to donate any profits to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.

A few days later, following Coca-Cola, PepsiCo., McDonald’s and others putting a temporary cease to operations in Russia, Starbucks reversed course and closed its Russian stores.

“Through this dynamic situation, we will continue to make decisions that are true to our mission and values and communicate with transparency,” then Starbucks Corp. CEO Kevin Johnson wrote to employees.

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