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Starbucks Opening 85% Of US Stores

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Coffee retail giant Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), has announced plans to reopen 85% of its U.S. coffee shops, as COVID-19 restrictions eases in the country.

In a letter to customers, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said, "By the end of this week, Starbucks partners will have responsibly reopened over 85 percent of our company-operated stores across the U.S., and we are expecting more than 90 percent of our stores to be open by early June, under modified operations and hours."

However, Starbucks will place new protocols such as mobile ordering, contactless pickup and cashless payments to enforce social distancing and curb the further spread of the virus.

Johnson expects the retailer's mobile app will become the most common form of payment. Some locations will accept onsite orders with debit or credit card payment.

"Pre-COVID-19, more than 80 percent of customer orders in the U.S. were for 'on the go' — through the drive-thru, in a café at point-of-sale or through Mobile Order for pickup or delivery," he wrote. "That means the majority of Starbucks customers are already familiar with the safe, convenient experiences that are now called for by physical distancing recommendations."

"The foundation of our approach comes from what we have learned in China, where more than 98 percent of our stores are now open and operating under revised protocols," Johnson added.

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