Fine, so the headline was a bit much, but this was one time we didn’t mind saying venti instead of large: Turns out that even the top bananas at Starbucks finally realized that they’ve overextended themselves, and due to the sagging economy, they’re closing 600 U.S. retail locations. Great—so that means there’ll be only eight Starbucks stores on every block instead of nine.
Seventy percent of the stores slated for closure had opened after the start of 2006, the company said in a statement.
To put it another way, Starbucks is closing 19 percent of all U.S. company-operated stores that opened in the last two years, Chief Financial Officer Pete Bocian said during a conference call.
About 12,000 workers, or 7 percent of Starbucks’ global work force, will be affected by the closings, which are expected to take place between late July and the middle of 2009, spokeswoman Valerie O’Neil said.
O’Neil said most employees will be moved to nearby stores, but she did not know exactly how many jobs will be lost. Starbucks estimated $8 million in severance costs.