Nike announces a permanent exit from Russia following Ukraine invasion

After suspending operations earlier in March, Nike has now revealed that it is completely withdrawing from the Russian market, joining other U.S. companies that have done the same in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The apparel stated that it has paused its operations at its Nike-owned and operated stores in Russia. It added that those currently operating were run by independent partners. It also announced its intention to entirely exit the nation alongside other well-known Western companies like Google and McDonald’s.

In the upcoming weeks, new rules that would empower Moscow to seize assets and inflict criminal penalties on foreign businesses wanting to leave Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine could be passed, compelling some businesses to exit at the earliest.

However, the shoemaker has carefully scaled back the activities over the next months, as its first concern is to make sure that they are adequately supporting the staff. The decision is mostly symbolic for Nike, whose combined sales from Ukraine and Russia are less than 1%, rather than having a significant impact on its financial performance.

The company has a history of taking a stance on social and political issues, from last year when it dropped Brazilian soccer player Neymar for refusing to co-operate in an inquiry into sexual assault claims to trying to support American footballer Colin Kaepernick in his choice to kneel during the anthem as a rebellion against racism.

Russia’s largest franchisee, Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which runs 37 Nike-branded stores in the country was reportedly not renewed by the American corporation.

Rival Adidas said in March that it would close its retail locations in Russia and halt online sales. In March, Puma also stopped operating while Reebok stopped selling its products and is currently in negotiations to sell more than 100 outlets to FLO Magazacilik, a Turkish shoe retailer.

Source Credits –

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/nike-just-did-it-leaves-russia-following-the-ukraine-invasion-11655991020798.html

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