Nike (NKE.N) is leaving Russia three months after ceasing operations there, the US sportswear maker told Reuters on Thursday, as the pace of Western companies to leave the country accelerates.
Nike said on March 3 it would temporarily halt operations at all of its Nike-owned and operated stores in Russia in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, adding that those stores that are still open would be operated by independent partners.
On Thursday, it joined other major western brands such as McDonald’s and Renault in confirming that it will leave the country entirely.
“Nike made the decision to leave the Russian market. Our priority is to ensure we fully support our employees while responsibly reducing our activities over the coming months,” Nike said in an emailed statement.
Foreign companies looking to leave Russia over the war in Ukraine face the prospect of new laws being passed in the coming weeks allowing Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal sanctions. That has encouraged some companies to accelerate their exit.
“What was a trickle is becoming a torrent (of Western companies leaving Russia),” said Paul Musgrave, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts.
Rival Adidas (ADSGn.DE) said in March it was closing its Russian stores and pausing online sales. Puma (PUMG.DE) also ceased operations in March. Reebok suspended sales in March and is in talks to sell more than 100 stores to Turkish shoe retailer FLO Magazacilik.
Other sporting goods manufacturers have also withdrawn.
Adidas currently has no plans to resume business in Russia, the German sporting goods maker told Reuters on Thursday.
“The operation of Adidas stores and online sales of Adidas in Russia remains suspended until further notice, this also applies to the delivery of goods to Russia,” it said in an emailed statement.
Musgrave said companies leaving Russia may struggle to return.
“This presents opportunities for domestic companies in some markets, but even more so for brands from China and elsewhere to gain a foothold,” he said.
For Nike, which derives less than 1% of its sales from Ukraine and Russia combined, the move is more symbolic than material to its results.
The company has a long history of taking a stand on social and political issues. It backed American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his decision to kneel in protest of racism during the US national anthem and last year dropped Brazilian football star Neymar for refusing to appear in an investigation into allegations of sexual assault cooperate.
Russian media reported in May that Nike had not renewed contracts with its largest franchisee in Russia, Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which operates 37 Nike-branded stores in Russia through its subsidiary Up And Run.
Nike Leaves Russia Completely – SABC News
Source link Nike Leaves Russia Completely – SABC News