In a sign that the days of splurging on lattes may be over, Starbucks will close 600 US stores in the next year, as the faltering US economy hastened the pain caused by the company's own rapid expansion.
Starbucks did not say which stores will be closed, only that they are spread throughout the country. But it did say 70 per cent of those slated for closure had opened after the start of 2006.
Chief Financial Officer Pete Bocian said that Starbucks is closing 19 per cent of all US company-operated stores that opened in the last two years.
Spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil said about 12,000 workers, or seven per cent of Starbucks' global work force, will be affected by the closings, which are expected to take place between late July and the middle of 2009.
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