In an official statement sent to international news agency Reuters, major clothing brand Nike have declared their intention to close all their stores in Russia and make all their products unavailable for those living in the nation, contributing to the ongoing sanctions imposed on the North-European nation for its invasion of Ukraine.
The sports outfit retailer had suspended its business in the country “temporarily” since March, closing down all of its official stores, but still allowed outlets that belonged to third-party contractors to sell its products.
However, in May, Nike made its decision official that it would not be continuing its business in Russia, cancelling all its agreements with companies that belonged to the country, such as sporting teams or retail stores. The company also cancelled their contract with football team FC Spartak Moscow.
“Nike has made the decision to leave the Russian marketplace. Our priority is to ensure we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations over the coming months,” Nike said in an emailed statement.
Nike becomes the latest in a number of western companies to leave the country over the war in Ukraine. Earlier in March, Adidas also shut down all its stores in Russia, cancelling all its agreements in the nation, such as the one with the Russian Football Federation to create the outfits for their national team. Fellow clothing brand Uniqlo also followed suit a few days later when its parent company, Fast Retailing, announced they couldn’t go on selling their products in the country, citing “a number of difficulties”.
And it’s not just clothing stores who are fleeing Russia. A number of other well-known brands, such as Starbucks, KFC and McDonalds have already departed. That has made life increasingly difficult for the people living in the country, with the government taking things in their own hands in certain situations.
Recently, a new store was opened as a sort of replacement to the US chain, dubbed Vkusno & tochka (“Tasty & that’s it, in Russian). While the restaurants have been a big hit with crowds, there are still those who crave their Big Macs, going as far as to protest or to spend over $500 to buy one online. Also, the new stores are already dealing with supply issues, as they need imported materials to create the food on their menus.