Starbucks to close 600 stores

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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SEATTLE — Starbucks has announced it is closing about 600 underperforming company-operated stores in the United States, including the 100 stores it previously announced it would close. The company has plans to open less than 200 new U.S. company-operated stores in fiscal 2009.

"For more than a year now, we have seen the adverse impact that a slower economy and dramatic decline in consumer confidence have had on our U.S. business," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This has resulted in a drop in comparable store sales due to a reduction in customer traffic. The pressure on store unit economics has required us to take a serious look at our store portfolio. As a result, we must be more disciplined than ever in examining and evaluating our business."

Most of the store closings are scheduled for the remainder of 2008 and first half of 2009.

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