Starbucks plans to close up to 400 stores in the US

  • Starbucks is closing up to 400 stores across the US, as the coffee giant adopts new strategies amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • The chain is also planning to open fewer stores this year, cutting its expections of openings to 300 from 600. 
  • The shops Starbucks does open will be be more focused on to-go business, with more mobile pick-up, curbside, and drive-thru locations. 
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Starbucks plans to close up to 400 stores across the US, as the coffee giant prepares for the new normal after the pandemic forced the chain to temporarily close locations. 

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced it plans to “strategically optimize” its store count in the US, with changes occuring primarily in urban markets. Starbucks will close up to 400 company-operated stores over the next 18 months, the company said. 

In addition to closures, Starbucks has slowed its plans to open new stores this year. The chain plans to open roughly 300 net new locations this year, down from the original expectation of 600. 

Starbucks said the stores it will open will be “in different locations and with innovative store formats,” as the chain opens more pick-up centric locations with drive-thrus, curbside pick-up, and other to-go orders that customers can place via mobile app. 

“Our vision is that each large city in the U.S. will ultimately have a mix of traditional Starbucks cafés and Starbucks Pickup locations,” Starbucks said on Wednesday. “With Starbucks Pickup stores located within walking distance of a traditional Starbucks café, customers can choose to enjoy their Starbucks Experience in a Starbucks café or pick up their order at either that café or a nearby Starbucks Pickup store.” 

Starbucks opened its first “Pickup” location last year in New York City. CEO Kevin Johnson said that that the coronavirus pandemic helped accelerate the chain’s shift to more Pickup and to-go-centric stores. 

The company announced on Wednesday that it expects revenue in the third quarter to drop by roughly $3 to $3.2 billion, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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