The owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, along with Mothercare, Heineken and Universal Music Group, became the latest companies to suspend operations in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
After a number of major Western brands, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, bowed to public pressure and suspended operations in Russia, Yum! Brands have followed suit.
It said it was suspending 70 KFC-owned restaurants in Russia and finalizing an agreement to suspend all 50 Pizza Hut outlets in partnership with its master franchisee. Yum! has 1,000 KFC restaurants in Russia, most of which are run by franchisees. The company had already suspended all investment and restaurant development in Russia.
Pizza Hut opened its first Russian outlet in the early 1990s, and former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev was featured in one of its TV commercials in 1998.
Heineken said on Wednesday it had halted production and sales of its own brand of beer in Russia, after previously halting all new investment and exports to the country. The Dutch brewer is taking immediate steps to insulate its Russian operations from its wider business.
British baby clothes chain Mothercare has announced that all activities in Russia, including shipping of all products, have been suspended. Its local partner has confirmed that it will immediately suspend operations at 120 Mothercare stores and online. Russia accounts for 20-25% of Mothercare’s global retail sales and was previously expected to contribute around £500,000 a month to the group’s profits.
Universal Music Group said it was “suspending all operations in Russia” and closing its offices in the country “effective immediately”. The Dutch-American band’s decision came a day after PRS For Music, the British music copyright collective, announced that it had suspended its partnership with RAO, the Russian royalty collection company for music, with immediate effect. musical works.
Musician Sting has added his voice to the growing number of celebrities showing their support for Ukraine, while posting a video on Instagram of himself singing his 1985 song Russians, saying he “never thought it would be relevant again”. He ended his message by saying, “We, all of us, love our children. Stop the war.”
Also on Wednesday, British tobacco company Imperial Brands, which makes Davidoff and Gauloises cigarettes, said it had halted production at its Volgograd factory and ceased all sales and marketing activities, but would continue to pay its Russian employees. It has already suspended its operations in Ukraine for the safety of its 600 employees. Russia and Ukraine together accounted for 2% of the company’s net revenue last year, or £656m.
Fast food company McDonald’s is also temporarily suspending operations at its 850 locations in Russia. The Chicago-based company said it would continue to pay its 62,000 Russia-based employees.
McDonald’s, which has 84% of its stores in Russia, could take a big financial hit from the closures, as its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine normally contribute 9% of annual revenue, or about $2 billion.
A host of other consumer brands, including Netflix, Levi’s, Burberry, Ikea and Unilever, owner of Marmite and Ben & Jerry’s, have halted operations in Russia, while professional services companies such as KPMG, PwC, EY and Deloitte also halted operations in Russia. the country and its ally Belarus.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNN two days ago that “all Western companies must withdraw from Russia” for humanitarian reasons.