Starbucks is leaving Russia after 15 years in business. The coffee chain had temporarily closed its stores in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It’s the second major release by a global American brand from Russia, after McDonald’s last week began to ‘disarm’ its entire chain after 32 years.
Starbucks on March 8 suspended all operations of its 130 cafes in Russia, including coffee and product shipments. On Monday, the company said it “made the decision to step aside and no longer have a brand present in the [Russian] market.”
Starbucks said Monday it would continue to pay its nearly 2,000 employees in Russia for six months and help them find new jobs. The company opened its first Russia-based cafe in 2007, in a shopping mall on the outskirts of Moscow.
Unlike McDonald’s, Starbucks did not operate its cafes in Russia, but had a licensing agreement. Last Monday, McDonald’s announced that it would sell its entire portfolio of more than 800 restaurants to a major Russian licensee, which will rebrand it and promise jobs for some 62,000 McDonald’s employees for two years.