1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Nike leaves Russia permanently over Ukraine war

June 23, 2022

The US sportswear giant will close its stores and websites in Russia. The retailer joins a growing list of companies that have pulled out of Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

 A woman wearing a mask passes by a Nike store in Beijing on Thursday, March 25, 2021
Nike has made the final decision to close operations in RussiaImage: Ng Han Guan/AP/picture alliance

Nike on Thursday announced that it will exit the Russian market for good and not reopen. The company had already temporarily closed stores in the days following the invasion of Ukraine on February 24

The move comes as Western companies are increasingly pulling out of Russia over the ongoing war in Ukraine

What Nike said about its business in Russia 

The company doubled down its choice to leave the Russian market in an emailed statement.  

"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, adding that it would also suspend access to its websites and apps in the country.

The retailer had already temporarily closed stores and not renewed licensing agreements with its Russian retailers, but this marks its first official withdrawal from the Russian economy. 

Nike gets less than 1% of its revenue from Russia, according to Reuters. This move will have few material effects on its business, but it is still largely seen as one that supports the company's stance on social issues. 

Nike has in the past backed American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racism in the United States. 

Which other companies have left Russia? 

Companies across tech, entertainment and finance have all pulled out of Russia in recent months.

Telecoms equipment maker Cisco joined Nike on Thursday, winding down its business in Russia and Belarus.

McDonald's and Starbucks suspended operations in Russia as early as March. Amazon shuttered operations with Russia and Belarus in the same month. 

Foreign companies have been motivated to accelerate their departure from Russia under threat of new laws that may allow Moscow to take company assets and impose criminal penalties

asw/rt (AFP, Reuters)