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Starbucks Canada to reopen as many stores as possible by end of May

Starbucks Canada plans to open as many stores as possible by the end of May.
Starbucks Canada plans to open as many stores as possible by the end of May. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Latte lovers, rejoice.

Starbucks Canada says it plans to reopen as many of its locations as possible by the end of May.

The coffee giant said Wednesday it is looking to reopen additional stores and expand services on a community-by-community basis, starting with drive-through, delivery and pickup.

The company shuttered many of its locations in Canada last month amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, keeping only a few shops open in or around hospitals and health-care centres.

Economic impact of COVID-19 and financial forecast for B.C.
Economic impact of COVID-19 and financial forecast for B.C.

“The stores which remained open, during COVID-19, have helped the company test and refine new ways of working and new operating models, designed specifically for the current social-distancing environment,” the company said in a statement. “The company will now roll this out more broadly.”

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Staff will be required to wear a face covering and be reminded not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth, and to wash their hands, maintain physical distancing and frequently sanitize high-touch surfaces.

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Prior to their shift, workers will be required to take their temperature and use a “COVID-19 Virtual Coach” to ensure they are able to work.

The company is also sourcing Plexiglass shields to be installed at the cashier when it is ready reopen brick-and-mortar cafés.

On Tuesday, Starbucks said its global sales tumbled in the first three months of the year as coronavirus-related shutdowns gripped operations.

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The Seattle-based business said conditions will likely worsen in the current quarter before moderating later this summer, and recovery will extend into 2021. But executives also said they are seeing encouraging signs.

“I think we emerge from this strengthening the brand and strengthening the connection we have with customers,” president and CEO Kevin Johnson said in a conference call with investors.

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— With files from The Associated Press