Starbucks to Close 31 UK Stores

Posted on August 11, 2009

The Independent reports that Starbucks plans to shutter 31 of its coffee shops in the UK. This include two London Starbucks cafes.

A Starbucks UK spokeswoman said in a statement, "Like many other retailers, we are discussing options with landlords for a small number of our UK stores. However, we do not have any specific announcements at this time."

Starbucks has closed about 800 stores in the U.S. over the past couple years. They also eliminated about 6,000 jobs. Starbucks was directly hit by the recession, which has people cutting back on premium coffee. It is clearly a global recession with consumers changing their buying patterns around the world.

An article in the Harvard Business Review about how retailers can whether the recession gives Starbucks as an example of a company that faired well during the good times and is now struggling in the bad economy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company's Frappuccino drinks are a beverage hard hit by the recession. They also quote Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as saying it is very hard to get a core customer back if you lose them. This is why the company has launched a recession plan that begins with the store closings we have seen in the U.S. and the U.K.

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