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Sports Apparel Maker Nike Will Exit Russian Market Completely

Sports Apparel Maker Nike Will Exit Russian Market Completely
Nike, the world's largest sportswear corporation, announced its entire pullout from Russia on Thursday, three months after stopping operations there.
Nike announced on March 3 that it will temporarily close all of its Nike-owned and -operated stores in Russia in response to Moscow's activities in Ukraine, stressing that those that stayed open were run by independent partners.
It confirmed its departure from the country on Thursday, joining other prominent Western firms such as McDonald's and Google.
Foreign firms wishing to leave Russia due to the Ukraine conflict face the threat of new laws being implemented in the coming weeks that will empower Moscow to seize assets and inflict criminal penalties. This has prompted several enterprises to hurry their exit.
"NIKE has made the decision to leave the Russian marketplace. Our priority is to ensure we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations over the coming months," the firm said in an emailed statement.
Nike's action is mostly symbolic rather than material to its results, since Ukraine and Russia account for less than 1% of its total revenue.
The company has a history of taking a stand on social and political issues, from supporting American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racism to dropping Brazilian soccer star Neymar last year because he refused to cooperate in an investigation into sexual assault allegations.
Nike did not renew contracts with its largest franchisee in Russia, Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which operates 37 Nike-branded stores in Russia through its subsidiary Up And Run, according to Russian media in May.
Shares in Nike were up nearly 1 per cent in premarket U.S. trading.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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