Starbucks to close 600 stores

July 1, 2008 1:55:32 PM PDT
The struggling economy has hit the crown jewel of coffee. Starbucks has announced the plans to close 600 stores in the U.S. This decision includes the 100 stores targeted for closure in the company's previously announced plans. In addition, Starbucks now expects to open fewer than 200 new stores next year.

The majority of the store closures are scheduled to occur during the remainder of fiscal 2008 and the first half of fiscal 2009. While positions will be eliminated, the company hopes to place many of the employees into available positions at nearby Starbucks stores.

Starbucks management said today's announcement is part of a plan that began last year.

"In January, we committed to transforming the company through a series of critical and strategic initiatives to improve the current state of our U.S. business and build the business for the long term," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and ceo. "Throughout the history of the company, we have always aspired to put our people first. This makes our decision to close stores difficult, because it is disrupting the lives of the people who have worked so hard to deliver superior service to our customers."

The stores identified for closure are spread across all major U.S. markets with approximately 70 percent of them opened since the beginning of fiscal 2006. It is not known what stores in the tri-state area will close.

More information is available at