Starbucks prepares to gradually reopen stores


Starbucks is planning to reopen a number of its stores across the country as the chain adjusts to new social distancing guidelines.

A letter from Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson to employees on Thursday indicated that some stores would continue operating as drive-through-only locations during the coronavirus outbreak, while others would resume to-go service inside the building.

“Some Starbucks stores will continue as drive-thru only, others may utilize the mobile ordering experience for contactless pickup and delivery and others may reopen for ‘to-go’ ordering. As we experienced in China, this will be a journey and we are thoughtfully preparing for this next phase as we adapt in the U.S.,” Johnson wrote.

“We are finding new, innovative ways to serve our communities safely while working hard to exceed public health requirements and adjust to new customer expectations. Thanks to our digital leadership, we are positioned to evolve the Starbucks experience for millions of our loyal customers,” he added.

The move to reopen some stores comes as local leaders in a number of areas such as New York and Los Angeles have extended stay-at-home orders until mid-May.

Only about half of Starbucks’ locations in the U.S. are currently operating, according to CNBC, as millions of Americans have been forced to remain at home due to stay-at-home orders in states around the country.

The company’s same-store sales dropped 3 percent during the second fiscal quarter, while the company reportedly expects earnings to be halved in the current quarter due to the outbreak.

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