Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest chain of coffee shops, plans to close 600 ‘underperforming’ U.S. stores and eliminate as many as 12,000 jobs as it tries to reverse declining customer visits.
The job reductions, which amount to about 7 percent of the company’s workforce worldwide, will include full- and part-time employees at the chain’s U.S. stores, Seattle-based Starbucks said Tuesday in a regulatory filing.
It was not immediately known if the closings would affect Nashville-area coffee shops.
Starbucks, headed by Howard Schultz since January, has slowed its expansion in the U.S. after doubling the number of stores in the past four years. The company said yesterday it plans to open 200 stores through September 2009.
Cash-strapped consumers facing record gasoline prices are pulling back on so-called affordable luxuries, including gourmet coffee, causing Starbucks’ sales to slow and earnings to fall in the second quarter.