US sportswear giant becomes latest western brand to leave country
American sportswear brand Nike has announced plans to pull out completely from Russia, having already suspended its business in the country following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The departure makes Nike the latest big-name Western brand to pull out of Russia amid an unprecedented package of sanctions against the country. The symbolic return was followed by fellow American giants McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Google. Major names in Britain include retailer Marks & Spencer as well as BP, the oil major that had deep ties to Russia.
Reuters news agency first reported Nike’s decision, citing an internal e-mail announcement at the company. Nike, which makes shirts for England national side and Tottenham Hotspur, in May announced the termination of a franchise agreement with Russian firm Inventive Retail Group. That decision meant that many Nike-brand shops across the country were already closed. Outlets run by the company’s other independent partners will also close shop permanently.
One of Nike’s most popular clubs – Chelsea FC – was sold to American investors Todd Boehley and Clearlake Capital in a £4.5bn deal by its previous owner Roman Ambramovich after it was targeted by sanctions.
Nike’s complete departure from the Russian market comes as another symbolic moment as the best-known names in Western capitalism turn their backs on the Putin regime, ending decades of economic integration, tying the country with big-name football brands. The most notable departure from the high streets and shopping malls.
Credit: www.standard.co.uk /