Starbucks Is Closing 400 Stores, Expanding Takeout Options Over 18 Months

June 12, 2020 Updated: June 12, 2020

Starbucks is planning to close 400 of its stores in North America over the next 18 months and will expand delivery and pickup services.

The firm said it is planning to add the new services as it closes down the cafe-style locations, according to a filing (pdf) with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“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 said in its filing on June 10.

The move will “[yield] a U.S. portfolio that is optimized to enhance the customer experience, expand our retail presence and enable profitable growth for the future,” the Seattle-based chain said. “As part of the ongoing assessment of our physical store footprint, we typically close approximately 100 company-operated stores annually in the Americas, primarily due to lease expirations, trade-area shifts and other market conditions.”

The company said these efforts will take place only in the United States and Canada.

The shift in business strategy is at least partially in response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, which prompted the shuttering of numerous Starbucks locations across the world.

The company, however, said it was re-evaluating how it sold coffee prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that customers in major cities often grabbed coffee-to-go.

“We were already thinking about what does that future state look like in those metro areas?” a Starbucks spokesperson told CNN. “COVID-19 has actually allowed us to accelerate the plans we already had on the books.”