Starbucks announces it's closing 150 stores in 2019

The company closed over 8,000 stores in the United States for the afternoon to conduct racial-bias training for its employees following an incident invo

Starbucks to Close 150 Stores in Big U.S. Cities Due to High Minimum Wage Strict Regulations Kyodo News via Getty Images 19 Jun 2018

Notably, as from 2019, it plans to shift its focus for new stores in the U.S. away from areas where it already has a strong presence and to underserved markets.

The company will triple its traditional annual average of closing about 50 stores as part of a streamlining effort including rapidly optimizing its USA store portfolio.

The resulting policy change prompted the mega-retailer to allow all persons to use the restroom facilities without requiring a purchase, effectively turning the neighborhood coffee shop into what some customers described as a "homeless shelter".

In a typical year, Stabucks shutters about 50 stores.

"Same-store sales comparisons are slowing".

Starbucks' Executive Chairman Howard Schultz stepped away from the company in June surprising investors at time when the company has faced raft of worrying headlines.

Starbucks closed 8,000 stores on the afternoon of May 29 to offer about 175,000 employees mandatory anti-bias training after two black men were arrested at a store in Philadelphia while waiting for a friend. The company said that so far in 2018, Frappucino sales have fallen by 3 percent. Americans can "get that same flavor profile at a much lower price somewhere else".

Starbucks closed its US stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for its employees. The company is also preparing to "lean into more plant-based beverages", he said, noting that a new plant-based protein cold-brew drink will be introduced this summer.

Starbucks said it will return an additional $25 billion more to shareholders than initially planned in the form of share buybacks and dividends. The company said the closures will result in a slightly lower growth rate in company-operated stores. "But the current political environment with trade wars looming or the governments picking at each other-it definitely casts a shadow over the long-term prospects for large western brands that are in China".

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