Starbucks to close 400 locations

Starbucks says it is re-examining its brick and mortar strategy and will be closing 400 stores in the US and Canada over the next 18 months. Instead, the company will expand its pickup-only and to-go business. This is due in part to the dramatic change in customer behaviour during the pandemic.

In its latest SEC filing, the company said it expects to open about 300 new North American stores that specialise in carryout and pick-up options over the next year and a half.

Inside a Starbucks cafe in Jamaica

“This repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next 18 months in conjunction with the opening, over time, of a greater number of new, repositioned stores in different locations and with innovative store formats,” the company wrote in its filing.

Starbucks said its new retail strategy is designed to “enhance the customer experience, expand our retail presence and enable profitable growth for the future.”

Starbucks says majority of purchases in a lot of its cafes are ‘on the go’

In a response to questions sent by CNN, Starbucks said about 80 per cent of transactions at its nearly 15,000 US stores are “on-the-go” purchases. It also highlighted the fact that its “on the go” strategy will also limit crowds in its cafes.