The coffee chain is putting more focus on takeout-only locations

By Mary Honkus
June 11, 2020 12:11 PM
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Starbucks is making some major changes to its cafes over the next 18 months.

The coffee company is planning to close up to 400 stores and is shifting its focus to add locations that exclusively offer pick-up and to-go services, according to a recent SEC filing obtained by CNN. The chain says it was already planning this shift prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

Before the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the United States, Starbucks reported that over 80% of its business was from on-the-go purchases. "Covid-19 has actually allowed us to accelerate the plans we already had on the books," a Starbucks representative told CNN.

The new takeout-only stores will better serve busy customers who prefer to get their coffee on-the-go while keeping traditional Starbucks cafes less crowded. This strategy is fashioned to "enhance the customer experience, expand our retail presence and enable profitable growth for the future," according to Starbucks.

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Social distancing measures have taken a toll on the company's revenue as many locations shifted to drive-thru only models in mid-March, while a majority of locations closed indefinitely. It is estimated that Starbucks has lost about $3.2 billion in revenue this fiscal quarter.

Starbucks is recovering, though, having reopened 95% of stores to date as regions across the U.S begin to open up. The company is keeping a positive outlook on recovering financially from this crisis.

"As our business recovery continues, we are now laying the foundation for a more transformational phase—'restore and build resilience'—enabling us to accelerate the transformation of our business in ways that elevate the customer and partner experience and drive long-term growth," CEO Kevin Johnson and CFO Pat Grismer wrote in a letter to stakeholders in the filing. “With each passing week, we are seeing clear evidence of business recovery, with sequential improvements in comparable-store sales performance."