Starbucks will close hundreds of stores across the US in its newest attempt to boost deflated profits, the Seattle Times reports. In the next nine months, about 600 stores are getting the ax, most of which opened after October 2005. About 12,000 employees will lose their jobs, but the company hopes to absorb some of them into other stores. The coffee chain also plans to open fewer than 200 new stores in the US during the next fiscal year.
"They probably made some poor real estate decisions, and when they opened stores in fiscal 2006, they probably didn't anticipate how tough the economy would be and how the brand would be struggling," said one industry analyst.