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Starbucks to Close 600 Stores and Fire 12,000 Workers

Starbucks to Close 600 Stores and Fire 12,000 Workers. . . Is Anyone Surprised?

After spending the first half of the year exploring different initiatives meant to direct the coffee company towards a successful future, they've come to terms with the numbers and have announced their plan to close 600 underperforming stores and get rid of 12,000 jobs. That second number represents about seven percent of the company's global workforce.

The news is obviously not good for those employees whose positions will be eliminated, but is anyone actually surprised that so many stores will be closing? The company seems to have learned the hard way that too much of a good thing isn't so great. Their initial success spawned the opening of its stores in every coffee-drinking town and city it could, and its overachieving growth has led to its current demise. The decision to proliferate in booming California and Florida is one that the company now regrets — the housing crises hit these places the hardest and people are less likely to grab a jazzed up cup of joe when they can't pay their mortgage.


Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 9 years
Once upon a time, Sbux was a novelty and a treat. Many moons ago, my folks went to Seattle on holiday and came back raving about the new coffee they tried. Lo and behold, about 3 months later, one of the (at that time) few Sbux in San Diego County opened across the street from my job. The coffee was absolutely fantastic and I learned to tell the difference between good and bad coffee. Fast forward a few years and there is one everywhere you go and the quality of the main product has tanked. My thoughts and best wishes are with the baristas who are going to be laid off. Here's hoping you are given bigger and better opportunities, very very soon!
xoxomer xoxomer 9 years
Nope. Such a thing as "limits to growth" which many fail to believe or understand I suppose. I mean I'm glad South Dakota got a couple Starbucks but I know major cities are littered with them. I have an idea Starbucks...drop your prices a little, maybe you'll have more customers. No thanks, I don't need a free sample of cookie. I know what cookies taste like.
lexichloe lexichloe 9 years
It makes perfect sense in this economy. Starbucks is one of many companies that got comfortable w/ their incredible success among broad regions. Obviously they got too comfortable, too soon.
Mintie Mintie 9 years
I always find it interesting when people bitch about Sbux. Most saying we should "patronize local businesses". But Sbux started as a local business [in Seattle] and has grown to a worldwide franchise. How can you fault a little guy for making good? I prefer an Italian brand of espresso, but very few places in this country serve it, so it's all the same to me.. therefore, I divide my time between my nearby Sbux, Argo Tea and Intelligentsia. Sbux is the only place out of the three that everyone knows my name, nearly everyone knows my drink… and I get friendly, exemplary service with a smile [and often comp'd drinks]. Argo falls in at #2 [where ¼ of them know my name and my drink] and #3 is Intelligentsia, where I get my delicious local coffee with a scowl and an eye roll. IMO [this whole thing is my opinion, isn't it?], Howard Schultz is a savvy entrepreneur and businessman. The company offers its employees highly competitive salaries, 401(k), and profit sharing even for part time employees (or at least they did at one time). So, I can’t fault him for growing his franchise to proportions that allow me to have exactly the same drink and pastry in Tokyo that I can get in Chicago. It is certainly unfortunate that so many people will be losing their jobs. But I think Schultz is really trying to bring the company back to where he dreamt it would be… not the crazy “try to make everyone happy” shop that it had started to turn into. The best that we can hope for is that the economy turns around and everyone in the country will be employed, well paid, well fed, caffeinated and happy!
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
There is way to many Starbucks and now that the economy is in the trash can they have to close down so many stores. Not surprised!!
Angel15 Angel15 9 years
They should get Starbucks in Norway instead! We have none!
hottinpink9021 hottinpink9021 9 years
So not surprising! There are Starbucks everywhere! I can count 6 Starbucks within a 1 mile radius of my house! Some of them are directly across the street from eachother! They are thier own competition. Almost every single other coffee shop has already closed down.
Allyace Allyace 9 years
I'm sad that so many people are losing their jobs, but I am not surprised at all. I expect to see a Starbucks on every corner over here but when I was in Europe a few summers ago they were on every corner over there too. Like the Lewis Black joke goes, if you can walk out of a Starbucks and directly across the street into another Starbucks it is just too much.
allthingsgrow allthingsgrow 9 years
Not too sad, but I hope the two closest to me are still open! I work in a mall, and although I think their coffee tastes like crap and is overpriced, I DO need my caffeine fix and there simply aren't any other options.
jasmint jasmint 9 years
I hope the ones I frequent aren't closing!
Papaya Papaya 9 years
That's not a surprise. With gas prices going up, the cost of living is getting more expensive. I'm just glad I work in the Starbucks in Barnes and Noble! At least then I'm covered!
phatE phatE 9 years
Seeing that there are 6 within a mile radius of where I live, no I am not surprised.. I also figured it would be coming when the ex-CEO went back in to re-train, and weed out some of the dead weight.. He's actually an interesting guy, and whenever he ran the company it was excellent in all areas (from customer service to coffee).. However, since he's move on, the quality of the coffee, service, and everything else has decreased, and yet the prices have continued to increase. Consider that, along with the fact that every fast food chain is picking up on the iced coffee wave, and is about 2 dollars cheaper, it makes sense that people aren't as interested anymore. I order a pretty basic drink, and it got to the point that every other time I went, it was made incorrectly.. If "you get what you pay for" principle comes back, or they lower prices, then I will be a little more optimistic.. But until then, my $4 iced latte that's made incorrectly isn't really worth it.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
No, I'm not surprised. Their coffee is terrible, and over-priced. I brew a better cup at home.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
A lot of people could have told them that at a certain point, too many stores is just too many stores. I personally don't need all 3 of the different Starbucks locations that operate within a 4-block radius of my home.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i am sad for the people who lost their jobs, but i am so glad that these places are closing! maybe locally owned organic coffee places can spring up instead - like they are here in vancouver!
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 9 years
yep, it seems that people are taking the "latte effect" seriously and skipping out on fancy drinks...
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
I am sorry for those losing jobs! I live in Florida and I have 2 Starbucks within a close distance and am addicted to iced skinny vanilla lattes so I won't be giving those up, even with the price of gas!
ladychaos ladychaos 9 years
I'm not surprised. With the economy suffering, more and more people are making their coffee at home because its less expensive than Starbucks $5 for 6oz of coffee. I've chosen a different alternative: I go to a mom and pop coffee shop in my hometown that is a good 2 to 3 dollars cheaper, and their cappuchino's taste much creamier. I'm sorry to hear about those who are losing their jobs. May you all be blessed with a spot of luck and a much better paying job!
nancita nancita 9 years
I'm not surprised at all. Corporations really puzzle me sometimes. Like, they could have asked anyone on the street "Do you think this is sustainable?" and most anyone would say no!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I live in Seattle, and you can't turn around without something Starbucks in your face. I had been thinking for a while that they had really over-saturated the market and was expecting this to happen! But, it is really sad for the workers losing their jobs. I have friends who work at the corporate offices here and rave about what a great company it is to work for and say that they treat their employees great.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
Not surprised at all and they could stop building new ones too. We have Starbucks on every corner here too - some right across the street from eachother similar to what Martini described. I don't like Starbucks either taste wise just too bitter for me.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
It's their fault for being their own competition!
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Think its insane that Starbucks has a store literally on every corner. Its insane because their coffee sucks.
mlen mlen 9 years
i'm not completely surprised- i mean there is one in the mall across from my work. and then there is one in the shopping center NEXT to the mall. i mean you could walk from one to the other in probably 5 minutes. that just seems a bit extreme!
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Yeah, I'm kind of surprised, but I was in the dark about their financial problems. We don't seem to have an overabundance of them in my state, but Caribou is everywhere.
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