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Starbucks To Close 400 Stores Over Next 18 Months

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Coffee retail giant Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) has revealed its plans to close up to 400 company-owned locations in the U.S. over the next 18 months.

Starbucks, in a SEC filing, revealed that new store openings have now resumed in the US after that it had been temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said it now expects expect to open about 300 net new stores in fiscal 2020 for the segment, down from its original expectation of 600. This reflects the accelerated repositioning of a number of company-operated stores as the company plans to strategically optimize its portfolio primarily in U.S. urban markets.

The repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next 18 months in conjunction with the opening.

"As we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, we are accelerating our store transformation plans to address the realities of the current situation, while still providing a safe, familiar and convenient experience for our customers," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said.

The company said its "U.S. store portfolio transformation" includes the expansion of "new Starbucks Pickup stores in dense markets including New York City, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, and convenience-led enhancements such as curbside, drive-thru and walk up windows in suburban areas."

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