Starbucks to reopen 'significant number' of stores next week

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said Wednesday that the coffee chain will reopen “a significant number” of U.S. stores beginning Monday, with a goal of 90 percent reopened by early June.

Johnson told CNBC that the company has closed about half of its company-operated locations and converted to drive-thru service for those that remain open. As locations reopen, Johnson said they will offer mobile pickup orders.

“And in this pickup, we have a contact-less handoff that’s at the entryway,” he said. “And in other cases, we’ve got mobile order for drive-thru.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Johnson added that the mobile ordering option could also be expanded to curbside pickup and, depending on whether it can be accomplished safely, a to-go ordering option as well.

“We’re going to begin there. What consumers are looking for are experiences that are safe, familiar and convenient,” Johnson told CNBC.

Second-quarter earnings data indicates Starbucks lost about 10 percent in same-store sales. However, Johnson said to-go orders were already a large share of the company’s business before the pandemic.

“All we’ve done is just sort of modified the way that they order through mobile ordering and the pickup,” he said, according to CNBC. He told the network that the company plans to keep a close eye on localized coronavirus data and base decisions on whether to modify plans, including potentially offering limited in-store seating, on the findings.

“It’s going to take some time for a vaccine or the appropriate treatments to be available for COVID-19, so we’re going to be in the monitor-and-adapt phase while that happens,” Johnson said.

The coffee giant announced last week that it has donated more than 1 million cups of coffee to frontline first responders in the U.S. and Canada and pledged to continue the program through the end of May.

“For many of those working long hours caring for those who are sick or in need, a cup of coffee can represent a bright spot in their day and give them a much-needed boost, some say,” Starbucks said in a statement April 23.