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Starbucks closing 130 licensed cafes in Russia

After a long time operating in Russia, Starbucks will exit the market, joining other occidental companies in withdrawing from the country completely.

The coffee giant announced that it will no longer have a brand presence in Russia after 15 years. Starbucks has 130 locations in the country, which account for less than 1% of the company’s annual revenue. They are all licensed locations, so the Seattle-based company itself doesn’t operate them.

Starbucks said it will pay its nearly 2,000 Russian workers for six months and help them transition to new opportunities.

Both consumers and investors have pressured Western companies like Starbucks to cut ties with Russia to show opposition to the Kremlin’s war with Ukraine, but unwinding licensing deals takes time.

Starbucks has suspended all business activity with the country since March 8. The pause included shipments of all Starbucks products and temporarily shuttering cafes.

In its latest quarterly results released in early May, the company did not disclose the financial impact of the suspension of business operations. Former CEO Kevin Johnson had pledged to donate royalties from the Russian business to humanitarian causes.

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