Coca Cola, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and other retailers withdraw business from Russia

Due to the invasion of Ukraine, a number of retail giants, including Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and McDonald’s, have joined the list of businesses refusing to do business in Russia. 

McDonald’s said it would temporarily close its 850 Russian branches. Starbucks also said that it would halt sales in its 100 coffee shops in the country. Both businesses have agreed to continue paying their staff during this time. 

This comes after pressure on companies to take action over the invasion. In an interview, Anna MacDonald, a fund manager at Amati Global Investors, said: “shareholders and wider stakeholders wouldn’t stand for continued generation of revenues and profits” from Russia. 

McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Russia in 1990. McDonald’s chief executive Chris Kempczinski now says it’s “impossible to predict” when restaurants will reopen in Russia.

108 McDonalds branches have also been closed in Ukraine due to Russian violence. Combined, these countries account for approximately 9% of global revenue and 2% of sales. 

Coca-Cola also said it will be suspending all operations in Russia. “Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine,” the company said. Coca-Cola will also continue to pay its Russian employees during this time. 

Many other well-known businesses, including Netflix, Levi’s, DKNY, Clinique, IKEA, Heineken, and Facebook have suspended operations or stopped providing services in Russia in response to the invasion to severe sanctions imposed by Western countries. 

Other companies, including Dove, Marmite, PG Tips, and Pepsi have announced plans to stop advertising, media spending, and investment in the country. 

Elsewhere, tobacco giant Imperial Brands said it was pausing production at its factory in Volgograd, which will have an impact on approximately 1,000 employees. British American Tobacco has continued its operations but halted investment in the country. 

Andrei Turchak, secretary of the ruling United Russia party’s general council, said on Monday evening: “United Russia proposes nationalising production plants of the companies that announce their exit and the closure of production in Russia”, during this time.

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