Starbucks Will Close 150 Stores Next Year, But Healthier Items Are Coming Soon
In a ploy to boost sales, Starbucks plans on offering more health-conscious drinks and snacks in stores.
It might feel like there’s a Starbucks on every corner in America, but next year, there will be fewer stores on fewer corners—150 fewer, to be exact. After seeing a slump in growth, the company has announced that it will be closing 150 stores in 2019.
According to CNN, “poorly performing” stores around the country will be getting the ax. Most of the stores slated for closures are located in big cities, where there is already an overabundance of Starbucks cafes. As of right now, there's no word on which cities will be affected by the change. Still, given that there are 13,930 Starbucks stores in America (as of last year), 150 is just a drop in the bucket.
But in closing its stores, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson also shared that moving forward, the company will double down on healthier options, such as low-sugar iced tea. The gradual move towards wholesome, balanced food products and lighter beverages is a reaction to declining sales from the Frappucino, the sugary calorie-bomb that has suffered a 3 percent sales dip despite new products.
To offset the loss, Starbucks also just raised the price of a regular cup of coffee by about 20 cents, taking the price to at least $2 per cup.
Johnson also admitted that a recent incident in Philadelphia, during which two African-American men were arrested in a Starbucks while waiting for a friend, did damage the company’s reputation. The company recently closed 8,000 Starbucks locations to conduct a racial bias training in order to prevent future race-based incidents in stores. As a result, the café bathrooms are open to everyone—not just paying customers.
The company also suggested that the massive closures “had an impact” on the slump in sales. Back in May, outgoing CEO Howard Schultz admitted that closing those stores would cost the company “tens of millions of dollars,” but that he didn’t view the training as a loss.