By Heather Haddon
Starbucks Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX -0.83% is closing down its business in Russia, as the invasion of Ukraine puts an end to its 15-year presence in the market.
The global coffee giant first suspended its licensee’s Russian business on March 8 in the days after the conflict erupted. Starbucks, which first opened in Russia in 2007, said Monday it would permanently wind down operations in its 130 stores and would no longer have an operation in Russia.
Starbucks said nearly 2,000 employees in Russia would continue to be paid for six months and receive help finding new jobs outside of the chain. The company declined to comment on the financial impact of closing its Russian market, which accounts for a relatively small portion of its sales. The company had included Russia among the countries it targeted for growth about a decade ago, though the number of stores in the country had trickled down since the pandemic hit.
“One thing that we’re very proud of is we’re continuing to pay our partners in Russia,” Chief Executive Howard Schultz said, referring to the company’s employees.
Western companies have been under pressure to pull the plug on their operations in Russia since the country invaded Ukraine in late February. Sanctions from Western governments have also made it harder for U.S. firms to continue doing business in the country.
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