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Starbucks to close 400 stores in North America; Puerto Rico market spared

Seattle-based Starbucks announced it will be closing of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next 18 months throughout its North American footprint.

Puerto Rico’s 28 coffee shops are spared from that decision, as they are operated under a franchise license granted to Baristas del Caribe, LLC, this media outlet confirmed.

In addition to the U.S. store closings, Starbucks will restructure its business in Canada over the next two years, with the potential of up to 200 additional stores being closed, the company said in a release.

While hundreds of stores will close, Starbucks confirmed it will shift toward “convenience-led formats” in locations with drive-thru and curbside pickup options over the next 18 months. These changes respond in part to the shift in the retail environment because of COVID-19.

“Starbucks stores in Puerto Rico are not affected by the decisions made by Starbucks Corporate because locally, Starbucks operates through a license with Baristas del Caribe, LLC,” said Idis Ortiz-López, general manager of Starbucks Puerto Rico.

“The stores continue to operate as usual. According to Executive Order 2020-041, since May 26, stores began receiving customers in their shops at 25% of their regular capacity,” she said.

Similarly, stores continue to offer a pick-up service, a delivery service through Uber Eats, and via drive-thru windows.

“The stores also continue to carry out the cleaning and security protocols that the company established since the first executive order was announced on Mar. 15,” said Ortiz-López.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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