Starbucks to close 150 stores next year

StarbucksSeattle-based coffee chain Starbucks announced it will close 150 underperforming company-operated stores next year, up three times from the usual rate of 50 closings a year.

The need for closures was mostly driven by slowing sales in the US and China, the company stated.

The global coffee chain said affected stores are those located mostly in urban areas that are already densely populated with Starbucks locations.

The company also said it expects one per cent growth in global same store sales for the third quarter, lowering its previous guidance.

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, said the company’s recent performance does not reflect the potential of their brand.

“While certain demand headwinds are transitory, and some of our cost increases are appropriate investments for the future, our recent performance does not reflect the potential of our exceptional brand and is not acceptable.” Johnson said. “We must move faster to address the more rapidly changing preferences and needs of our customers.”

Johnson said they have taken several actions to streamline the company over the past year, positioning it to increase their innovation agility as an organisation and enhance focus on their core value drivers which serve as the foundation to re-accelerate growth and create long-term shareholder value.

The coffee chain closed about 8,000 stores on May 29 to offer about 175,000 employees mandatory anti-bias training after two black men were arrested at a store in Philadelphia while waiting for a friend.

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