McDonald’s se retire entièrement de Russie

McDonald’s se retire entièrement de Russie

The sign with the golden arches will disappear from Russian urban landscapes. McDonald’s has indeed announced, Monday, May 16, its decision to leave Russia. The communication from the American giant took the form of a letter sent by its CEO, Chris Kempczinski to the “Global McFamily”. The opportunity to recall that the world leader in fast food had settled in this country thirty-two years ago. The highly publicized first opening of an establishment in Pouchkine Square, Moscow, in January 1990, in what was still the USSR, had attracted a large influx of customers eager to treat themselves to their first “made in the USA” hamburger. Quite a symbol of the end of the cold war.

Since the outbreak of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops on February 24, McDonald’s, like many foreign companies, has been faced with the question of what attitude to adopt. At the end of February, the fast food chain suspended its activities in Ukraine then on March 8, it decided to do the same in Russia. She then explained to temporarily close the doors of the restaurants in place. A position that affected the establishments it owns.

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Usually, McDonald’s international development strategy is primarily based on a franchise model. However, in Russia, the American company has deployed its own establishments on a large scale. Of the 850 restaurants it claims in this country, less than 20% are in the hands of franchisees. The latter have therefore sometimes chosen to continue the activity despite the position taken by the parent company. It was therefore still possible to consume Big Macs in Russia.

In March, “We kept hoping that peace would soon return to the region”, underlines Mr. Kempzinski, in his letter. Alas, two months later, the American giant takes a new step. His intention now is to completely dismantle the sign with golden arches throughout Russia, from Saint-Petersburg to Moscow, via Nizhny Novgorod and Vladivostok, and to stop all marketing of McDonald’s menus and products. However, he will retain ownership of the brand. The company therefore claims to put all of its restaurants up for sale and ensure the remuneration of more than 60,000 employees until the transaction.

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Charge between $1.2 and $1.4 billion

This withdrawal from a major country, described as the first in the company’s history, has a cost. McDonald’s estimates that it will have to include in its accounts a charge of between 1.2 and 1.4 billion dollars (1.15 to 1.34 billion euros). In the financial press release published in April relating to the activity of the first quarter of 2022, the American giant had estimated at 27 million dollars (25.9 million euros) the cost of salaries and other payments due to suppliers following the suspension of its activity in Russia and Ukraine over this period. To this was added an amount of 100 million dollars (95.9 million euros) related to losses in the supply chain.

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