Starbucks Is Planning to Close 200 Additional Stores Across North America in 2021

The coffee giant is focused on a new, to-go oriented store model.

Courtesy of Starbucks

In June, Starbucks announced plans to shutter 400 locations across North America while expanding its convenience-led store model. Now, the coffee giant is closing even more, but as part of this continued push towards a "more efficient" retail space. 

In an earnings call last week, the company reported 200 additional closures across North America by the end of the 2021 fiscal year. In total, that means 400 across the US and 200 in Canada, both of which are expected in "dense metro trade areas." 

"As customers continue to adapt to work from home and study from home realities, they create safe, familiar and convenient experiences, and have shifted their buying behavior accordingly," CEO Kevin Johnson said on the call. "And we've adapted rapidly to meet those evolving needs. Broadly speaking, we've seen US transactions migrate from dense metro centers to the suburbs, from cafes to drive-throughs, from early mornings to mid mornings with outpaced recovery on the weekends."

Much like Starbucks' previous store closures, the move is largely hinged on bigger plans for better performing models. According to executive vice president and CFO Patrick Grismer, this is all part of "clearing the way for the development of new, more efficient retail store formats that cater to the customers' increasing desire for convenience, while also improving trade area profitability." 

So what exactly does that mean? More to-go orders, a strategy that was already underway before the pandemic hit. COVID-19 and related customer behavior has simply encourage a faster process for putting it in action. 

"We have a clear vision for our 'Bridge to the Future,' and we are accelerating our plans to transform our store portfolio, elevate the customer experience for this new era, and drive long-term growth," Johnson said in a statement over the summer. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.