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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Starbucks to Close Stores and End Sandwich Sales

FROM NY Times By ANDREW MARTIN

As part of a turnaround plan, the beleaguered coffee giant said Wednesday that it would discontinue warm breakfast sandwiches at its stores and focus instead on healthy breakfast options and high-quality baked goods.

“In short, the scent of the warm sandwiches interferes with the coffee aroma in our stores,” said Howard D. Schultz, the company’s chairman and chief executive.

Mr. Schultz also announced that his company would close 100 underperforming locations in the United States while scaling back the rate of store openings domestically. At the same time, Starbucks will move more aggressively to open stores overseas, where business remains robust. He did not identify the locations that will be closed.

In all, Starbucks will open 1,175 restaurants in the United States this budget year, down from its previous goal of 1,600. The company will open 75 more stores abroad than originally predicted, for a total of 975.

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