Starbucks closing 150 underperforming stores in 2019

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Oversaturation of the market could also be an issue plaguing the coffee chain, which is why the store closings will be focused on urban areas with a higher concentration of Starbucks locations.

As for store closures, Johnson said the ones it's targeting are unlikely to be moved or replaced, with their business ideally moving to other shops and raising overall system performance.

Starbucks said its third quarter forecasts had been impacted by its decision to close 8,000 stores on the afternoon of May 29 to provide roughly 175,000 employees with anti-bias training.

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For the ubiquitous chain, moving slower and shutting unprofitable stores may trigger some deja vu.

Starbucks' Executive Chairman and co-founder Howard Schultz said earlier this month that he is stepping away from the company on June 26, ending an era. In April, Schultz worked closely alongside Chief Executive Kevin Johnson to help limit damage to the company's image after a racial profiling incident involving the arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia store.

Starbucks says it can attract more diners in the US with new menu items and will focus on its expanding tea business, as well as capitalizing on health and wellness trends.

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When Starbucks released its second-quarter earnings in late April, the chain had net revenues of $6 billion, a 13.9 percent increase from $5.29 billion in the same period in fiscal year 2017.

Starbucks said it now expects earnings in the range of $3.23 to $3.26 a share for the current fiscal year, down about a dime from its previous targets.

The chain, which operates more than 8,000 US stores, said the changes were made to address the weaker-than-expected sales growth, adding that several digital initiatives were expected to add 1% to 2% in comparable sales in fiscal 2019. Johnson confirmed Tuesday that China may one day be a larger market for Starbucks than the U.S.

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