Nike will pull out of Russia entirely, less so in the coming months

A man walks past the Nike logo seen in the window of a brand store in Kyiv.

Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images

US sportswear manufacturer nike The company is exiting completely, three months after suspending its operations from Russia, the company said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

Nike said 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, saying those still open should be sold to independent partners. was operated by.

On Thursday, it will replace other major Western brands such as . joined in McDonald’s And Google will leave the country altogether, confirming it.

Foreign companies seeking Russia’s exit over the war in Ukraine face the prospect of new laws being passed in the coming weeks, allowing Moscow to confiscate assets and impose criminal penalties. This has encouraged some businesses to accelerate their departure.

The firm said in an emailed statement, “Nike has decided to leave the Russian market. Our priority is to ensure that we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations in the coming months.” Huh.”

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

The company has a history of taking a stand on social and political issues, from supporting American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his decision to take a knee during the national anthem in protest against racism, to leaving Brazilian football star Neymar last year. Because he refused to cooperate with the 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 through its subsidiary Up & Run had 37 Nike-branded stores in Russia. operates.

Nike shares were up about 1% in premarket US trading.