Starbucks will be closing upwards of 200 Canadian stores over the next two years, as a result of declining sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Canadian Press, the coffee giant plans to scale back its operations in North America with up to 400 store closures across Canada and the United States. Starbucks currently operates approximately 1175 stores across Canada with a presence in all 10 provinces.
In a letter to shareholders filed Wednesday morning, Starbucks attributed the shift in strategy to evolving customer habits and plummeting sales due to pandemic-related closures, as the company estimates their quarterly operating income will drop by upwards of $2.2 billion USD. The letter also outlined a plan to "re-position" some stores instead of closing them, which suggests that the company may convert some full-service stores into pickup-only stores like the one they opened this January in Toronto.
Since mid-March, Starbucks stores in Canada have been operating in very limited capacities, with most only accepting drive-thru and delivery orders via UberEats. Even after stores re-opened in late-May, many locations are only operating in a grab-and-go capacity with no in-café seating.