Number one reason to truly believe we’re going into a recession: Starbucks is closing stores. Yep, the take-over-every-street-corner Frappuccino giant is shutting roughly 100 underperforming locations, as was announced Wednesday, and slowing its rate of expansion from eight stores a day to a mere five. The focus, for the near future, will be on expansion in foreign countries, with China, Hungary, and Poland high on the list.
This is accompanied by some other changes—such as phasing out breakfast sandwiches—that the company says is part of its “catalyst for change” program initiated by Chairman Howard Schultz, who took over for ousted CEO Jim Donald earlier this month.
Schultz expressed his concern over the future of the company he is credited with building in a memo that was leaked last February called “The Commoditization of the Starbucks Experience.” He now claims “a new day is here” for the Seattle-based coffee giant. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says “Schultz wants to return Starbucks to its roots of intimate coffee houses with unique drinks where baristas connect with customers.”
Of course, the most amusing piece of Starbucks media out lately is the satire published last week in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that casts the new Starbucks $1 coffee trial as the country’s best chance to restart the economy. “I would like to emphasize that our loyal customers can still enjoy grossly overpaying for our products if they choose,” the ersatz column quotes a faux Starbucks hack as saying.