Starbucks will close 150 stores in 2019

Starbucks says it will close 150 poorly performing stores next year

"The company's streamlining initiatives will enable greater agility in adapting more quickly to changes in consumer preferences, " the company stated.

In May, Starbucks closed all of its more than 8,000 USA stores for an afternoon so that their employees could participate in "racial bias training" following an incident in Philadelphia in which a store employee called the police on two black men who were arrested for trespassing.

The announcement was made on the heels of revealing that Starbucks was expecting same-store sales to grow just 1 percent for the quarter of the fiscal calendar beginning next month - after initially projecting a 2.9 percent growth. The company will hike its dividend 20% to 36 cents per share. The company said that so far in 2018, Frappucino sales have fallen by 3 percent.

The mandatory training program, which outgoing chairman Howard Schultz said had cost the company tens of millions of dollars, was enforced after two black men were arrested at a store in Philadelphia while waiting for a friend.

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"We lost momentum", Johnson said in a presentation to analysts at the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference on Tuesday.

It is also putting the brakes on the rate of new store growth, closing about 150 under-performing company-operated stores, up from an average of 50 closures a year recently, and by slowing the number of new stores operated by third-party licensees. That alliance frees Starbucks to focus on improving its mainstay US cafe business, where traffic growth had stalled.

Johnson said Starbucks has not reached saturation point in the USA, but it will be more strategic about where it puts new stores, focusing on underpenetrated markets in "Middle America".

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