Starbucks suspends all business in Russia

SEATTLE — Starbucks is suspending all business activity in Russia in response to Vladimir Putin’s continued aggression in Ukraine, according to CEO Kevin Johnson.

Starbucks only has about 130 locations in Russia and Ukraine, according to Bank of America Securities.

They are all licensed locations, owned and operated by a partner company.

The estimated loss for those locations is estimated to be less than 1% of Starbucks’ global revenue.

Johnson also said Starbucks will provide support to the nearly 2,000 partners in Russia that depend on Starbucks for their livelihood.

He did not specify what that entailed.

In the company’s hometown of Seattle, people welcomed the announcement.

“Good idea, 100 percent, I think that’s great,” said Dustin Grantham as he passed by a downtown store.

“I think you really need to put your money where your mouth is,” said Laura Guirau, who was visiting Seattle from North Carolina.

Before the announcement, Starbucks faced growing calls for a boycott.

Earlier Tuesday, McDonald’s announced it would temporarily close its 847 restaurants in Russia, as did the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi also announced pullbacks.

“Pressure has been building for days now, and as more and more companies make this decision, it becomes harder for the remaining companies not to follow suit,” said Jeff Shulman, professor of marketing at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

A Yale professor is updating an influential list of how U.S. companies are responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing are among those listed as curtailing their Russian operations.