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Nike latest brand to leave Russia permanently

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Nike has announced plans to leave Russia, becoming the latest Western brand to do so since the February invasion of Ukraine.

In March, the US sportswear behemoth halted online orders and closed its stores in the country.

Local partners’ shops continued to operate, but the firm is winding down those agreements.

Cisco also announced that it would begin to phase out operations in Russia and Belarus.

McDonald’s and Starbucks are two other companies that have finalized plans to leave in recent weeks.

“Nike has made the decision to leave the Russian marketplace,” the company said in a statement. “Our priority is to ensure we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations over the coming months.”

Since the invasion, Russia has become increasingly economically isolated as the West and its allies impose sanctions and international companies flee.

According to Reuters, the country is currently working on legislation that would punish foreign companies that seek to leave by seizing their assets and imposing criminal penalties.

According to its website, Nike has more than 50 stores in Russia, with roughly one-third of them closed.

In May, Russian media reported that the company was terminating its contract with its largest franchisee in Russia, who was in charge of 37 stores.

Nike previously stated that Russia and Ukraine accounted for less than 1% of the company’s revenue.

On Thursday, Cisco announced that it had “made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down of our business in Russia and Belarus.”

The decision will affect a few hundred employees, according to the US company, who added that they want to ensure they are “treated with respect.”

“Cisco remains committed to using all its resources to help our employees, the institutions and people of Ukraine, and our customers and partners during this challenging time,” a spokesperson for the firm said.

The networking giant had already stopped business operations, including sales and services, in the region in March, taking a $200m (£160m) hit to third quarter revenues.

SOURCE : BBC

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