Starbucks is changing the model of hundreds of North American stores that helped the brand become ubiquitous and will expand its pick-up and delivery business-a change of strategy that illustrates how much consumer behavior has changed during the pandemic. The company has said it is planning to close up to 400 US stores. For the next 18 months, the USA and Canada, while adding only take-away locations. The company said it ultimately hopes to open some 300 new North American stores, specializing in transportation and pickup options, in its latest filing with the SEC. “This repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next 18 months along with the opening, eventually, of a greater number of new and repositioned stores in different locations and with innovative store formats,” they wrote.
Starbucks said its retail strategy is designed to “enhance the customer experience, expand our presence and enable profitable growth for the future.” The company said it was re-evaluating how it sells coffee before the covid-19 pandemic because customers in major cities already show a greater tendency to order take-out coffee. In an email sent to CNN Business, the company said that about 80% of transactions in nearly 15,000 stores in the United States are “on the go” purchases. “We were already thinking about what that future state looks like in those metro areas,” said a Starbucks spokesperson. “The covid-19 has actually allowed us to accelerate the plans that we already had in the books.”
Starbucks said its new pickup stores will better serve “on the go” customers while limiting the size of the crowd in their cafes. “Our vision is that every major city in the United States will finally have a mix of traditional Starbucks cafes and Starbucks pickup locations,” the company said in the email. Starbucks also said Wednesday that it estimates it earned $ 3.2 billion less in revenue in its third quarter year-over-year. In a call from investors on Wednesday morning, Starbucks confirmed that it has reopened 95% of its stores in the United States after closing them in March to comply with the mandates of social distancing.