Starbucks to Close 400 Stores, Open On-The-Go Pickup Locations
The coronavirus pandemic has certainly left its touch on most things in our lives, including the way we get our precious cup o' Joe. Many Starbucks stores across the world will shut their doors in the near future, and many others will shift to a new way of doing business.
In a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing on June 10, Starbucks announced it will be closing 400 of its stores in the next 18 months and making room for 300 new locations, some of which will be part of a new venture for Starbucks, directed toward the on-the-go customer.
"Our vision is that each large city in the U.S. will ultimately have a mix of traditional Starbucks cafés and Starbucks Pickup locations," President Kevin Johnson and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Grismer wrote in the filing. "With Starbucks Pickup stores located within walking distance of a traditional Starbucks café, customers can choose to enjoy their Starbucks Experience in a Starbucks café or pick up their order at either that café or a nearby Starbucks Pickup store. Starbucks Pickup stores will provide more points of presence to better serve “on-the-go” customers while reducing crowding in our cafés, thereby improving the “sit-and-stay” experience for “third place” occasions."
The Seattle-based company said it has been testing two pickup locations in Manhattan's Penn Plaza and Toronto's Commerce Court throughout the past seven months, and plans to open another near Grand Central Station in Manhattan in the near future.
There's no word yet on which Starbucks locations will close or if any city within driving distance of Central New York can expect a pickup store.
According to a press release from Starbucks on Wednesday, 80% of the company's transactions in the U.S. were on-the-go prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
"While the pandemic has disrupted customer behavior, the company’s strong digital relationships, combined with the ability to adjust locations through store renovations, relocations and new builds, and add new store formats, are unique strengths that Starbucks will lean into as part of this plan," Johnson wrote in the release. "This strategy aligns closely with rapidly evolving customer preferences that have accelerated as a result of COVID-19, including higher levels of mobile ordering, more contactless pick-up experiences and reduced in-store congestion, all of which naturally allow for greater physical distancing."
Along with the new pickup locations, Starbucks also plans to enhance and add other aspects of contactless pickup, including double-lane drive-thrus and designated parking spots for customers using curbside pickup.