Starbucks to close 400 stores in North America, expand pickup options

Starbucks on Wednesday announced closures of 400 traditional cafes in North America, adding that the closures would be due to renovations or moving locations for expansion purposes and providing more pickup options. 

The closures make way for changes in the way Starbucks provides its services in the U.S. and Canada. The company on Wednesday also detailed the financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and updated its annual quarterly outlook, according to its SEC filings.

Shares for the company fell 4 percent in midday trading Wednesday, and the company shared that it expects revenues to decline as much as $3.2 billion in its current third quarter due to the pandemic.

Starbucks said in its SEC filings that it intends to “restructure our company-operated business in Canada over the next two years, with the potential of up to 200 additional stores being closed,” adding that the pandemic has caused “unprecedented circumstances” for the overall business.

For every store that closes, Starbucks says at least one alternative location would open.

Alternative locations will include smaller lobbies and more express services, intended for customers who order and pay ahead of time, according to a company press release.

Starbucks said one of its goals is to open 40 to 50 exclusively pickup locations within the next 18 months, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company’s first pickup-only store location has been operating in Penn Plaza in New York City since late 2019.

“Starbucks stores have always been known as the ‘third place,’ a welcoming place outside of our home and work where we connect over a cup of coffee,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, adding that the company is “accelerating store transformation plans” to adjust to changes caused by the pandemic.

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