Starbucks puts the lid on 400 stores

The closures represent about 2% of coffee chain’s total US locations

A closed Starbucks store and Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson (Getty)
A closed Starbucks store and Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson (Getty)

Starbucks will shutter 400 stores across the country as it transitions to to-go orders while adjusting to the coronavirus pandemic.

The closures were disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It was not clear which of the java giant’s locations will close, but Commercial Observer reported that some New York City locations are being considered. In April, Starbucks signed a 23,000-square-foot lease for a triplex corner of the Empire State Building for a potential tasting room and reserve roastery.

The Seattle-based chain expects to lose $3.2 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2020, which it attributed to changing customer preferences as a result of the coronavirus.

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“As we navigate through the Covid-19 crisis, we are accelerating our store transformation plans to address the realities of the current situation, while still providing a safe, familiar and convenient experience for our customers,” said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks.

Despite the health crisis, Starbucks has reopened 96 percent of its global stores. A key metric, same-store sales, only dropped by 32 percent in the last week of May, following six weeks of improvement. In April, same-store sales sank to 65 percent, the filing showed.

Starbucks had envisioned opening 600 new stores in the U.S. this year, but now only plans to around half that many. In the course of a normal year, Starbucks closes about 100 stores. [CO] — Georgia Kromrei