Starbucks Coffee set to cut 6,700 staff, 300 stores to close

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Starbucks at the Shinbashi Yurikamome railway station in Tokyo
Image: DarkFritz.

Starbucks Coffee is set to close 300 stores and lay off around 6,700 employees. The announcement came after a 69% drop in quarterly profits.

The company made a profit of $64.3 million in the 13 trading weeks ending in December, down from $208.1 million last year.

Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz sent a letter to employees explaining the difficulties the company is having in the current economic climate. He placed some of the blame of the loss in sales on other companies such as McDonalds and Dunkin’ Donuts, which have been improving the quality of their coffee.

"These decisions have been made to ensure the company is leaner and prepared to endure a worsening economic climate," said Schultz in the letter.

Two-thirds of the store closures are to take place in the United States. Schultz's salary would also be reduced to $10,000 a year according to the Wall Street Journal. The closures are on top of the already 600 stores the company announced they would be closing.

Starbucks has approximately 16,000 stores internationally with around 11,000 in the U.S. There are about 172,000 employees in all areas of the company.