One local Starbucks at risk from national closures


— Starbucks plans to close about 600 underperforming stores nationwide, but most of Steamboat Springs' outlets will be safe.

Cafes serve Starbucks products in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, City Market and Safeway. Those are licensed stores that "were not a part of this review" and won't be affected, Starbucks' media relations department stated in an e-mail.

Company-run stores are the only ones at risk. Steamboat has only one such store, on Anglers Drive in eastern Steamboat.

The corporation hasn't announced which stores it will close. It will notify the locations between this month and March, said a spokeswoman who would not allow her name to be used.

The details have not been finalized, she said. Starbucks announced the closures Tuesday.

Steamboat residents Liz Rostermundt and Claire Tegl were sitting outside the Anglers Drive Starbucks on Thursday morning, poring over a book. They said they visit the store almost every week.

They can't close the store, Rostermundt said in mock horror. "We'll riot. We'll chain ourselves; we'll lock ourselves inside."

She said the store has had steady traffic when she's been there. About six people were in line, and several cars were waiting in the drive-through at about 11 a.m.

Claire said she often does homework at the Starbucks.

"This is where we go," she said. "It's like a second school."

Several other customers said the store was typically busy, but they declined to give their names. Store employees referred questions to the corporate office.

The stores that will be closed are spread across "all major U.S. markets with approximately 70 percent of them opened since the beginning of fiscal 2006," Starbucks stated in a news release.

In deciding which stores to close, the corporation stated, it looked at locations that were not profitable at the store level and that were not projected to "provide acceptable returns" in the future.

Starbucks said the closures would affect about 12,000 employees, The Associated Press reported. Starbucks also plans to open fewer than 200 new U.S. company-operated stores in fiscal 2009, according to the news release.

The company had planned to close 100 stores and add 500 to the list, Starbucks stated. The company forecast up to $348 million in charges related to the closures, the AP reported.

At the end of March, there were 16,226 Starbucks stores around the world, the AP reported. The company operates 7,257 of those stores in the U.S. and 1,867 abroad. The remaining 7,102 locations are run by partners who license the Starbucks brand.


steamboatwatchdog 8 years, 9 months ago

Ohh no! I just may have to walk my fat ass 200ft to the Starbucks inside Safeway within the same parking lot. I need to campaign to save Starbucks unless Safeway installs a drive through...I can't take it anymore! The town will cry, I won't. I do feel bad for anyone loosing a job if they close.


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