Cape Girardeau's new Starbucks not among stores slated to close

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Starbucks lovers in Cape Girardeau can breathe a sigh of relief.

The location at 188 Vantage Drive is not among the 616 coffee shops that the chain has announced it will close by March.

The company on Thursday released a full list of stores it plans to close. That list includes 17 Missouri locations, most of which are in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Only the Jennings, Mo., store has a firm closing date. That location will shut its doors by the end of July.

The three hardest-hit states are California, Florida and Texas, which will lose 88, 59 and 57 stores respectively.

Store management in Cape Girardeau would not comment, referring questions to the company's corporate headquarters in Seattle.

"In the spirit of transparency with our partners, customers and communities, we have provided the full list of stores below for general information purposes," company officials said in a news release. "Store partners will receive advance notice and more details from their leadership team once a specific closure date has been confirmed. After specific closure dates have been communicated to all affected partners, we will continue to update the confirmed store list."

The Cape Girardeau location opened in October. During the 1990s and early 2000s, stores like the one in Cape Girardeau were opened at a pace of one location per day.

However, some stores proved unprofitable, forcing the July 1 announcement that the company was closing about 8 percent of its stores in the United States. Most of the stores scheduled for closure were opened since 2006. As part of its cost-cutting efforts, the company expects to open fewer than 200 new stores in its 2009 fiscal year.

While about 12,000 employees nationwide will be affected by the move, Starbucks officials said some of them will be offered positions at stores that remain open. Employees who are not placed at a nearby store will receive a severance package based on pay and position.

bblackwell@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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