Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff

McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Starbucks – All gone

On March 8, McDonald's fast food restaurant chain announced a temporary closure of all of its restaurants in Russia. It goes about 850 outlets that employ 62,000 employees. McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said that employees would still be paid their salaries during this period, but did not specify for how long and in what amount.

McDonalds' decided to suspend its activities in Russia due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as the company cannot ignore the human suffering.

Starbucks coffee chain made a similar decision the same day. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said that all activities in Russia were suspended, including all shipments of all products.

Yum!Brands, which operates KFC and Pizza Hut chains in Russia, said that the company was suspending all of its investment activities in Russia. The chain will not be opening new restaurants, but it appears that all existing outlets of the company will continue their work in Russia. Yum! Brands did not exclude additional measures.

The Coca-Cola Company, whose products are produced in Russia under the brands Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Dobry, Moya Semya, Bonaqua and others, also announced the suspension of business activities. The manufacturer did not expand on what will follow next. The company only stressed that they were closely monitoring further developments.

Coca-Cola's main global competitor, PepsiCo, supported the decision. The company announced the cessation of advertising and investment activities and stopped the sales of its drinks in Russia. The company recalled that PepsiCo entered the Soviet market more than 60 years ago, but they could not help but respond to the terrible events in Ukraine. The holding decided to continue the production of essential goods, including dairy products and baby food. This decision will support 20,000 Russian employees and 40,000 agricultural workers involved in the supply chain. PepsiCo also announced the transfer of $4 million to help Ukrainian refugees.

Two major Finland-based companies — Valio (dairy products) and Paulig (coffee) — simultaneously announced the termination of their activities (the companies have their own factories in Russia). Valio CEO Annikka Hurme stressed that the manufacturer did not have any ethical prerequisites left to continue working in the country due to the crisis in Ukraine.

Danone (France) stopped all investment projects, but did not close the production and sales of fresh dairy products and baby food.

IBM Corporation ceased commercial activities in Russia. On March 5, the company announced the termination of sales of its technologies on the Russian market. Separately, the company refused to cooperate with Russian military organizations.

UK-based Unilever (Dove, Ax, Rexona, Chistaya Liniya, Black Pearl, Forest Balsam, Domestos, Cif) stops exporting its products to Russia. The company also waived any media and advertising spending. However, the sale of domestically produced products will continue, including basic necessities and hygiene products.

US-based Procter&Gamble leaves only basic hygiene products in Russia. All investments in the country and advertising activities have stopped. The company has two enterprises in Russia, but nothing was reported about the activities of those factories.

Adidas is closing its online and retail sales in Russia. The company does not plan to dismiss employees — they will continue receiving their salary. Product sales have been suspended indefinitely.

German sportswear manufacturer Puma is closing its stores in Russia too. Puma also suspended the contract with the Russian Basketball Federation.

On March 5, Inditex, a Spanish clothing retailer, which runs such brands as Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Oysho, Massimo Dutti and many others, closed all of its stores in Russia.

Uniqlo, a world-famous clothing maker from Japan, announced that it was not leaving the Russian market.

OBI, a European DIY giant, suspended its activities in Russia as well. Currently, the company has 27 outlets in the country, which employ nearly 5,000 people.

Here is a list of other foreign companies that have decided to suspend their operations in Russia:

  • Estee Lauder (cosmetics and perfumery: brands MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone, Origins, DKNY, Tom Ford Beauty);
  • IKEA; (Sweden, furniture);
  • Ferrari (luxury cars, Italy);
  • Lamborghini (luxury cars, Italy);
  • Rolex (luxury watches, Switzerland);
  • Continental (car tyres, Germany);
  • Shell (UK-Netherlands) — all gas stations are closed, all join oil and gas projects suspended.
  • BP (UK) — no new contracts to purchase oil and gas from Russia;
  • General Electric (USA, power generation);
  • and many, many others.

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