Starbucks announced Wednesday that it would be closing roughly 400 of its 10,000 locations this year. However, by the end of the year, Starbucks plans to open 300 more locations than it started the year with. How does that make sense? Well, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Starbucks, as well as other retailers, to take a hard look at their business model and make changes.

Starbucks is moving its business to more mobile and to-go orders according to the article in Slate. They estimate that 80% of their orders are take-out or drive-through.

Starbucks has always been seen as a coffee shop where you can sit and hang out with friends, have a meeting or get some work done while enjoying a coffee. In this new coronavirus world we live in that just doesn't make sense anymore. Even now Starbucks locations that are open for in-store ordering and pick up have to limit the number of customers in the store and they have eliminated in-store seating.

Here's the good news for Starbucks fans though, the company plans to replace most closed locations with their new "pickup" store that allows you to order and pay by their phone app. The company plans for more locations and with innovative store formats in the future.

"Curbside pickup is an experience accelerated due to the COVID crisis as well as customers’ increasing need for convenience in on-the-go occasions," Starbucks said in a statement. "Over the coming months, Starbucks will increase the number of stores that offer Curbside pickup as well as pilot a select number of locations to exclusively offer this format."

In November, Starbucks opened its first "pickup" location in Penn Plaza and they plan to open another in New York City near 42nd Street and Park near Grand Central Terminal.

So, what does this mean for our almost 50 Starbucks locations here in the Capital Region? As David Bowie sang, "Cha Cha Cha Changes". Changes are coming most likely in the form of some high traffic in-store locations closing and new "pickup" locations opening. The good thing is that they are starting their new store format in New York. That more than likely, makes it easier to transition right to the Capital Region.

Currently, Starbucks hasn't released a list of the 400 locations they are planning to close.

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