EXCLUSIVE Nike to make full exit from Russia

EXCLUSIVE Nike to make full exit from Russia

PARIS/COPENHAGEN/LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – Nike (NKE.N) is pulling out of Russia completely three months after suspending operations there, the U.S. sportswear maker told Reuters on Thursday, as the pace of… departures of Western companies the country is accelerating.

Nike announced on March 3 that it would temporarily suspend operations at all of its Nike-owned and operated stores in Russia in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, adding that those still open were operated by independent partners.

On Thursday, she joined other major Western brands, such as McDonald’s and Renault, in confirming that she would leave the country altogether.

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“Nike has made the decision to exit the Russian market. Our priority is to ensure that we fully support our employees as we responsibly scale back our operations over the coming months,” Nike said in an emailed statement. .

Foreign companies seeking to leave Russia because of the war in Ukraine face the prospect of new laws being passed in the coming weeks allowing Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal penalties. This has encouraged some companies to accelerate their departure.

“What was a trickle becomes a torrent (of Western companies leaving Russia),” said Paul Musgrave, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts.

Other sportswear makers also declined.

People walk past a closed store of sporting goods retailer Nike at a shopping center in Saint Petersburg, Russia May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Rival Adidas (ADSGn.DE) said in March it was closing its Russian stores and suspending online sales. Puma (PUMG.DE) also suspended operations in March. Reebok suspended sales in March and is in talks to sell more than 100 stores to Turkish shoe retailer FLO Magazacilik. Read more

Adidas currently has no plans to resume operations in Russia, the German sportswear company told Reuters on Thursday.

“The operation of Adidas stores and Adidas online retail in Russia continues to be suspended until further notice, this also applies to the delivery of goods to Russia,” he said. declared in a press release sent by e-mail.

Musgrave said companies that leave Russia may find it difficult to return.

“This presents opportunities for domestic companies in certain markets, but even more so for brands from China and elsewhere to make inroads,” he said.

For Nike, which derives less than 1% of its revenue from Ukraine and Russia combined, the move is largely symbolic rather than material to its bottom line.

The company is used to taking a stand on social and political issues. He supported American soccer quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his decision to kneel during the US national anthem in protest against racism and let go of Brazilian soccer star Neymar last year because he had refused to cooperate with an investigation into allegations of sexual assault.

Russian media reported in May that Nike had not renewed agreements with its largest franchisee in Russia, Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which operates 37 Nike-branded stores in Russia through its subsidiary Up And Run.

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Reporting by Mimosa Spencer, Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Richa Naidu. Additional reporting by Praveen Paramasivam; edited by Matt Scuffham, Jason Neely, Bernadette Baum and Jane Merriman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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