Starbucks to close up to 400 stores across the country as coronavirus decimates dine-in business – The Sun

STARBUCKS is to close up to 400 stores across the country as coronavirus decimates dine-in business.

The coffee giant announced that amid declining sales in the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also not open 300 new stores that were planned.

Dine-in business has slowed amid widespread closures due to the pandemic, and Starbucks said that income is expected to take a hit of up to $2.2 billion.

The coffee giant had to make stores drive-through or pickup only amid shutdowns.

Although the country has begun to reopen, Starbucks said around 400 stores in the Americas will close permanently in the next 18 months.

The company is also halting plans for 300 new stores that were slated to open.

As some stores permanently close, others may move to new locations that are better for pickup-only, Starbucks said.

This would allow for customers to have more and easier access to contactless mobile ordering.

The retailer also said it plans to expand pickup stores in "dense" markets – like NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.

"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," CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement on Wednesday.

Additionally, the coffee retailer said in suburban areas, they will offer more options for curbside, drive-throughs, and walk-up areas in the transformation.

As the country begins to reopen in phases, COVID-19 cases in 21 states across the US have continued to rise.

Some experts have expressed concern that as coronavirus numbers surpassed 2million in America, that widespread protests may contribute to a surge in cases.

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