Business

McDonald’s closure feeds the Russian resale market, with a Big Mac going for $44 in the country.

Russians are flooding a popular online resale platform with listings for McDonald’s menu items, with some charging exorbitant prices for basic cheeseburgers after the fast-food giant closed its Russian stores in response to Ukraine’s invasion.

A search on Avito, popular Russian classifieds and auction platform similar to eBay, turned up listings for everything from Big Macs to McDonald’s cherry pies and signature sauces. The listed prices were frequently significantly higher than the regular menu prices.

One listing, for example, asked 5,000 rubles (approximately $44) for a single Big Mac. Another poster requested 10,000 rubles ($88) for two classic McDonald’s cheeseburgers “with a taste of American bygone capitalism,” according to a translation.

They appear to be McDonald’s items that the sellers had stashed away before the American outlet in Russia closed.

According to The Economist’s “Big Mac Index,” a Big Mac sold at a Russian McDonald’s store under normal conditions costs about 135 rubles — less than six US dollars.

Individual containers of McDonald’s sauces were being sold for 1,000 rubles ($8.75) each by one seller. Another demanded 400 rubles (approximately $3.50) for a small order of chicken nuggets.

Everything from McDonald’s cheeseburgers to individual sauce packets was listed by opportunistic sellers.

As previously reported by The Washington Post, the resale listings first appeared last week, following McDonald’s announcement that it would temporarily close its 850 stores in Russia and halt operations due to the Ukraine invasion.

The announcement also resulted in long lines at stores and drive-thrus as fast-food fans in Russia tried to get one last McDonald’s meal or stock up on their favorite items.

A viral Reddit post showed a Russian refrigerator stocked with dozens of McDonald’s cheeseburgers.

Russian McDonald's store
McDonald’s closed all of its approximately 850 Russian locations.

McDonald’s is just one of countless companies based in the US or other Western nations who have cut ties with Russia.

The Russian ruble’s value has plummeted as the country’s economy reacts to the loss of businesses as well as crippling economic sanctions imposed on key financial institutions.

Meanwhile, there are indications that Russian officials are considering ways to retaliate as companies leave the country.

Last week, Russian state-run media reported that officials were considering weakening intellectual property protections – a move that one expert warned could pave the way for local operators to keep McDonald’s and other businesses open without permission.

About the author

Akanksha Jain

Akanksha Jain love to learn new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for Startup, Business sections of Editorials99.

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