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400 Starbucks Cafes Will Soon Be Closing

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person holding up frappuccino drink outside of starbucks store with green umbrella

Your favorite Starbucks store may soon be closing…

After the coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to change behaviors by socially distancing, Starbucks has announced they will be closing up to 400 dine-in cafes nationwide in the next 18 months.

But don’t fret! Starbucks plans to increase the number of pickup-only locations that offer customers options like curbside pickup, drive-thru, and mobile-only pickup in urban locations like New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Hip Tip – Check out these step-by-step instructions for ordering ahead from the Starbucks App!

In an open letter to US partners, Kevin Johnson, CEO and President, announced that Starbucks will adapt to current trends to help keep customers and employees safe:

Since approximately 80% of our store transactions before the crisis were “on the go,” we were already adapting to new consumer trends that balance the need for convenience on-the-go with the desire for connection in our stores… The plans we had for this broader store transformation over a three – to five-year period will now occur over the next 12 to 18 months.

Man in car going through Starbucks Drive-Thru

After the success in opening its first pickup-only location last year in New York City, Starbucks has decided to close some traditional stores in favor of having a blend between traditional sit-down cafes and pick-up only locations in large cities.

Starbucks also has plans to utilize curbside pickup from cars, where customers can pay ahead then park in designated spots to pick up their orders. Over the next few months, more stores will offer this option, and a select number of stores will exclusively test this option!

Starbucks also plans to expand its drive-thru locations, including opening new locations in new markets and adding double-lane drive-thrus!

view of drive-thru window at starbucks with barista handing out drinks

To learn more about how Starbucks is adapting to the new normal after the coronavirus, you can read the full letter here.


Starbucks Happy Hour is returning on June 18th!

Join The Discussion

Comments 20

  1. HappyRunner

    Glad to hear this. I order on my app so I can customize my drink without forgetting what I get. It will be nice not to have to go in to get my order!!

  2. Erin

    So they’ll leave current storefronts empty and build drive-throughs elsewhere. More commercial blight. So frustating.

    • Shoppingfan

      Not necessarily true. Many times I’ve seen businesses use their current structure & repurpose the space. They can also re-do it to fit the needs of the business, Storage space, office, larger bathroom, etc. This is not always the case but some do it because it’s also cost effective to use what you currently have vs building. Again, just an observation from the last 10years.

    • MrsGarfield

      Actually they have been abandoning buildings without drive-thrus for years. I have a friend who has a company that installs security cameras to businesses and often Starbucks has been their client. They told them that Starbucks has been moving locations to buildings with drive thrus and closing the ones without. And that was about 4 years ago.

  3. Chris

    Short term thinking. Behaviors adapted to during the COVID crisis will give way over time to old patterns.

    • Rebecca

      As the article said, 80% of their sales before Covid was already to-go.

      • Kelly

        That’s kind of skewed, if you think about it. They have a LOT of stuff that you can only get in store, not on the app, such as those oh so hot color changing cups. People still have to go INTO the store to buy them, then leave. That still counts as a to go order, but you NEED an actual cafe store with the space to carry those items in order to buy them.

        • Rebecca

          Right but there will still be a lot of actual stores that will have that, this is just a fraction of them shutting. Maybe in the future, they’ll put everything available to order without going in anyway.

    • hope-0

      I agree, very short term thinking

  4. AmyA

    Is there a list of the closing stores?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi there! I don’t find a list available. You could always call the locations near you for further details on the stores in your area. Hope this helps!

  5. kiera

    I like the experience of sitting in the coffee shop to study (even though sometimes it can be noisy) but most folks want their cup on the way to work or on the way to pick up the kids etc. so I can see why they’re shutting the dine-in option. I hope they still have space for merchandise, folks love those mugs/cups!

    • Melissa

      Me too! That’s my go-to place for sitting and studying. And I love that you can get free refills while you’re there

  6. Emily

    I can’t remember the last time I went to go sit at a coffee shop – I almost always get my starbucks to go. It’s usually a nice treat when I am out and about rather than a destination in and of itself, so I am totally fine with this change.

  7. Donna

    The only time I’ve ever been inside a Starbucks was to purchase gift cards for people. LOL

  8. mel1313

    Bummer. When I travel for work I like to stop at Starbucks. I usually use the bathroom while I’m there. Now I’ll have to choose between bathroom stop or coffee stop lol.

  9. cwescott54

    Starbucks also recently announced that they are going forward with a coffee roasting plant in China.

    • ChristieG

      Please don’t get in the hype. They have also built roasting plants in Amsterdam, various parts of EU. They are expanding their global market. The hopes to build the coffee roasting plant and 6,000 stores in China starting in 2022 just expands their global market. We still have 5 roasting plants in the US for the US/Canadian markets. There is currently no international trade with the other global roastings so far… If they do it is a limited edition special…

  10. Cara Erickson

    The Starbucks with drive-thrus around me are all really busy, oftentimes the line is out to the roads. I can’t see any them closing. I often order on the app and walk in to pick up because they are so busy. If I was an owner of a Starbucks I would be looking into getting a building with a drive-Thur. What business doesn’t want to make maximum profits. This also helps the community with jobs, tax revenue and providing benefits for workers. You definitely have to look at all sides of each situation.

  11. hellotashakitty

    I would hope to see their online store then reopen for merchandise

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