Update: Starbucks Closings in 2022

Joel Eisenberg

130 Russian closures were announced as “effective immediately,” while 600 domestic closures were reported to begin this year. Unionization controversies have also been blamed for at least one additional closing.

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Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: BestLifeOnline.com, NPR.org, Starbucks.com, QuerySprout.com, and ScrapeHero.com.

Introduction

Earlier this year, NewsBreak published my article, “Plans For Starbucks Closings in 2022.” What follows is an update.

A May, 2022 article for BestLifeOnline.com, “This Iconic Coffee Chain Is Closing 130 Locations, Effective Immediately,” stated: On May 23, Starbucks announced that it would be closing all 130 locationsin the country and "no longer have a brand presence in the market." The existing shops, which are currently run as licensed locations and not directly run by the company, have been temporarily shuttered since March 8, when Starbucks decided to stop sending products into Russia, CNBC reports.

This was not an unusual step, as many restaurant and retail giants also shuttered Russian business due to their conflict with the Ukraine.

However, of late controversial unionization-related issues have led to the closure of at least one domestic location.

Let us explore further.

Starbucks, 2022

In a June 5 article published by NPR.org, “Starbucks Union Says the Coffee Giant is Closing a Store to Retaliate,” domestic unionization efforts were addressed: Starbucks is closing a store in Ithaca, N.Y., in what Starbucks union organizers are calling an illegal move of retaliation after workers at the location voted to unionize. The coffee giant gave the employees at the College Ave. location near Cornell University a one-week notice of the closure, the union says, with the store slated to permanently close on June 10. The coffee giant has said the decision to close the store was unrelated to the unionization effort. The store was one of three Starbucks locations in Ithaca that voted to unionize on April 8.

For its part, per the article in reference to an official company statement, Starbucks relayed a safety reason for the closing: Workers at the College Ave. location previously went on a one-day strike in April for what the union says were unsafe working conditions — "a waste emergency caused by the overflowing grease trap." Starbucks later cited the grease trap as reason for shuttering the location, according to the union.

QuerySprout.com reported, in “Is Starbucks Closing Stores? (All You Need to Know),” that in 2020 the company announced 600 stores, separate from any of the above, closing in North America beginning in 2022: Starbucks announced in June 2020 that it would be closing 400 locations in the US and Canada over the next 18 months. Further, this was followed by another announcement to close 100 more stores in the US and 100 in Canada, bringing the total closings to 600. However, the closings will not reduce the total number of North American locations, as Starbucks will be opening more stores simultaneously. That said, Starbucks is closing stores located in dense metro areas, which already have a high concentration of Starbucks stores.

Those entities are in the midst of closing, but such closures are strategic and take into account among them under-performing locations.

Until or unless otherwise reported, Starbucks closings — with the Ithaca exception — remain strategic-only in nature.

Conclusion

According to ScrapeHero.com: There are 15,436 Starbucks locations in the United States as of June 20, 2022. The state with the most number of Starbucks locations in the US is California, with 3,008 locations, which is 19% of all Starbucks locations in America.

The company remains one of the world’s most successful in terms of revenue and longevity, and the above domestic closings will barely dent their numbers.

It is unlikely, per recent reportage, that unionization will effectuate further closures at present, and other widespread unrelated domestic closures have yet to be announced.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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