Starbucks announces it's closing 150 stores in 2019

Starbucks Announces Major Store Closings Coming in 2019

Coffee retail giant Starbucks announced Tuesday its plan to close approximately 150 stores across the United States as a result of "slow growth", sending the Seattle-based corporation's stock prices down almost 7%.

"While certain demand headwinds are transitory, and some of our cost increases are appropriate investments for the future, our recent performance does not reflect the potential of our exceptional brand and is not acceptable", Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

It says it generally averages closing up to 50 stores a year. "We must move faster to address the more rapidly changing preferences and needs of our customers".

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The changes came weeks after Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz announced he would leave the role in June.

"It seems fairly clear that the low-hanging fruit on causing everybody to get addicted to their (Starbucks) fantastic products is kind of in the rear-view mirror", said Tony Scherrer, director of research at Smead Capital Management".

The company told investors late Tuesday that it expects same-store sales to grow just 1 percent for the quarter that begins next month, lowering its previous guidance. The company said that so far in 2018, Frappucino sales have fallen by 3 percent.

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"We lost momentum", Johnson said in a presentation to analysts at the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference on Tuesday. U.S.net store growth peaked at 6 percent in Starbucks' 2017 fiscal year.

Global same-store sales, at locations open for at least one year, were projected to rise 1%, weaker than the forecast for 2.9% growth according to Bloomberg. Notably, as from 2019, it plans to shift its focus for new stores away from areas where it already has a strong presence and to underserved markets.

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