NEWS: Russia
McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks are shutting down operations in Ukraine.

March 9, 2022, 1:01 pm

Con­sumer giants includ­ing McDon­ald’s, Coca-Cola and Star­bucks have joined the list of com­pa­nies that have halt­ed oper­a­tions in Rus­sia due to the inva­sion in Ukraine.

McDon­ald’s said it was tem­porar­i­ly clos­ing its rough­ly 850 restau­rants in Rus­sia, while Star­bucks also said its 100 cafes would close.

On Wednes­day, Heineken halt­ed beer pro­duc­tion and sales in Russia.

And Moth­er­care said all busi­ness in Rus­sia, which accounts for 20–25% of its glob­al sales, had been halted.

The actions by McDon­ald’s, Coca-Cola and Star­bucks come after grow­ing pres­sure on com­pa­nies to act dur­ing the war in Ukraine. All three com­pa­nies said they would con­tin­ue to pay their staff.

Anna Mac­Don­ald, fund man­ag­er at Amati Glob­al Investors, told the BBC Radio 4 Today pro­gram that com­pa­nies join­ing the wave of com­pa­nies leav­ing Rus­sia were doing so because “share­hold­ers and wider stake­hold­ers would not sup­port the con­tin­ued gen­er­a­tion of rev­enue and prof­it”. from the country,

“It was affect­ing their stock price and the feel­ing was that it was just inap­pro­pri­ate to con­tin­ue doing that,” she said.

McDon­ald’s estab­lished its pres­ence in Moscow in 1990 as the Sovi­et Union opened up its econ­o­my and attract­ed thou­sands of peo­ple for its burg­ers and fries. Its clo­sure now car­ries a sim­i­lar sym­bol­ic weight, and could influ­ence oth­er businesses.

How­ev­er, fast-food chain rival Burg­er King is cur­rent­ly keep­ing its Russ­ian stores open. He pledged $3m (£2.3m) to sup­port refugees from Ukraine and said peo­ple feel­ing like Euro­pean nations could get free Whop­per meal vouchers.

Restau­rant Brands Inter­na­tion­al, own­er of Burg­er King, said it would redi­rect prof­its from more than 800 fran­chise oper­a­tions in Rus­sia to human­i­tar­i­an efforts.

McDon­ald’s chief exec­u­tive Chris Kem­pczin­s­ki said it was “impos­si­ble to pre­dict” when it would reopen in Rus­sia.
McDon­alds also tem­porar­i­ly closed its 108 restau­rants in Ukraine.

Col­lec­tive­ly, coun­tries rep­re­sent approx­i­mate­ly 9% of com­pa­ny rev­enue and approx­i­mate­ly 2% of glob­al sales.
Com­pa­nies have come under pres­sure to act as Russ­ian vio­lence against civil­ians escalates.

Both #Boy­cottM­c­Don­alds and #Boy­cottCo­ca­Co­la have been trend­ing on Twit­ter for the past few days.

Dozens of well-known com­pa­nies, includ­ing Net­flix and Lev­i’s, have already sus­pend­ed sales or stopped pro­vid­ing ser­vices in Rus­sia amid tough sanc­tions imposed by West­ern allies.

Coca-Cola announced on Tues­day that it was sus­pend­ing its oper­a­tions in Rus­sia, which account­ed for about 2% of the com­pa­ny’s rev­enue and oper­at­ing income. It also has an approx­i­mate 20% stake in a bot­tling and dis­tri­b­u­tion busi­ness in Russia.

“Our hearts go out to those who are expe­ri­enc­ing the uncon­scionable effects of these trag­ic events in Ukraine,” the com­pa­ny said.

Pep­si, which has a much larg­er pres­ence in Rus­sia than rival Coca-Cola, said it was halt­ing pro­duc­tion and sales of Pep­si and oth­er glob­al brands in Rus­sia and sus­pend­ing cap­i­tal invest­ment and adver­tis­ing, cit­ing “hor­ri­ble events” in Ukraine.

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