OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
5:50 PM – Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Starbucks, the well-known coffee company, will be closing seven locations near the downtown San Francisco area due to the company looking to “adjust” its portfolio of stores in the city.
Starbucks stated that its employees at all seven locations were notified about the closures on Tuesday.
According to a letter sent on Tuesday to San Francisco district managers, Starbucks Regional Vice President for Northern California Jessica Borton announced that the company’s decision was part of an annual store portfolio evaluation that allows for new store openings, existing store improvements, and possible store closures.
“There are several factors Starbucks considers when tasked with the tough decision of closing a store, but it is all part of ensuring a healthy store portfolio,” Borton said in her letter. “We will continue to listen to the needs of our partners to ensure they can focus on crafting beverages and creating connections in a welcoming environment.”
The coffee and tea company reportedly offered affected workers at the San Francisco locations the opportunity to transfer to another Starbucks location.
Six of the stores closing are in San Francisco’s downtown area, and the seventh is located on Van Ness Ave. and Bush St. on the northeastern corner of the Cathedral Hill neighborhood.
The closing locations include Mission and Main Streets, Geary and Taylor Streets, 425 Battery Street, 398 Market Street, 4th and Market Streets, 555 California Street, Bush Street and Van Ness Avenue.
The Seattle-based company will be officially shutting down these locations on October 22nd.
“Each year as a standard course of business, we evaluate the store portfolio to determine where we can best meet our community and customers’ needs,” according to a Starbucks spokesperson who sent a statement to KRON4.
“This includes opening new locations, identifying stores in need of investment or renovation, exploring locations where an alternative format is needed and, in some instances, re-evaluating our footprint,” the spokesperson added.
The closures come among a recent outpouring of businesses leaving the city’s downtown area.
The locations blame their closures on the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in criminality, and a surge in retail theft.
In recent months, a number of companies in the city, including grocery stores and retail outlets, have closed their doors for good.
These companies include large corporations like Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Old Navy, while small businesses in the area have had even more difficulties with the prospect of having to close up shop.
As a result, San Francisco has responded to the company closures by launching programs to boost small businesses in locations with vacant retail spaces.
The well-known coffee giant has also opened or reopened three new stores within the past six months in downtown San Francisco. They have invested $2.5 million in renovations at four other locations in the city.
Starbucks has ensured that each of the employees at the closing locations are aware that they have the opportunity to transfer to other areas if they are interested.
“We will continue to listen to the needs of our partners (employees) to ensure they can focus on crafting beverages and creating connections in a welcoming environment. I want to thank each of you for your leadership and support of our partners as we communicate this news,” Starbucks explained in an email to impacted employees.
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