After 15 years of selling coffee and baked goods in Russia, Starbucks has announced that it has suspended all business activity in Russia. Following the steps of McDonalds, which announced last week that they would begin “de-arching,” or removing all its brand elements from Russia. McDonalds had more than 800 locations in Russia, Starbucks had around 130. The 130 locations were all owned and operated by a licensed partner. But Starbucks is now making the decision to exit and “no longer have a brand presence in the market,” effectively closing down those 130 stores.
“We condemn the unprovoked, unjust and horrific attacks on Ukraine by Russia, and our hearts go out to all those affected,” CEO Kevin Johnson wrote to the partners on March 4. “ The invasion and humanitarian impact of this war are devastating and create a ripple effect that is felt throughout the world.”
This news comes after Starbucks condemned the attacks on Ukraine by Russia in March and stated they would donate any royalties they receive from their business operations in Russia to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine. The Starbucks Foundation also gave $500,000 to the Red Cross and the World Central Kitchen for humanitarian efforts in the Ukraine. Also included in a statement released back on March 4, was that Starbucks was going to continue to support people in need through financial contributions and service through their EMEA business.
Four days later on March 8, Starbucks agreed with their license partners to pause all of their store operations and support the workers that would lose their jobs with this pause. Starbucks will continue to support their almost 2,000 workers or “green apron partners” that are currently in Russia, which includes paying them for six months as well as assisting them in a transition to new opportunities outside of Starbucks.