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Starbucks is exiting Russia, shutting 130 stores

A sign on a Moscow Starbucks informs visitors that the coffee chain had suspended its work in Russia.
Charles Maynes/NPR
A sign on a Moscow Starbucks informs visitors that the coffee chain had suspended its work in Russia.

Updated May 23, 2022 at 11:09 AM ET

Starbucks is leaving Russia after 15 years in business. The coffee chain had temporarily shut down its stores in March over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

This is the second major exit of a global American brand from Russia, after McDonald's last week began "de-arching" its entire chain after 32 years.

Starbucks on March 8 suspended all operations of its 130 cafes in Russia, including shipments of coffee and products. On Monday, the company said it "has made the decision to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the [Russian] market."

Starbucks on Monday said it will continue paying its nearly 2,000 employees in Russia for six months and help them find new jobs. The company opened its first Russia-based coffee shop in 2007, in a shopping mall on the outskirts of Moscow.

Unlike McDonald's, Starbucks didn't operate its cafes in Russia, but had a licensing deal. Last Monday, McDonald's said it would sell its entire portfolio of more than 800 restaurants to a major Russian licensee, who will rebrand it and promise jobs to some 62,000 McDonald's employees for two years.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alina Selyukh is a business correspondent at NPR, where she follows the path of the retail and tech industries, tracking how America's biggest companies are influencing the way we spend our time, money, and energy.