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Starbucks to close up to 300 stores in Canada by end of March

Pedestrians walk past a downtown Toronto Starbucks Coffee location Thursday, May 31, 2018. Starbucks is pulling back on its presence in Canada with plans to close up to 200 coffee shops. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy.

Starbucks says its plan to close up to 300 coffee shops across Canada will be complete by the end of March.

The Seattle-based coffeehouse and roastery chain announced the acceleration of its five-year “transformation strategy” last year as it responded to changes in consumer habits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Starbucks to close up to 400 stores in Canada, U.S – Jun 10, 2020

In a statement on Tuesday, the company says some of its locations closed last fall and it expects to complete its planned store closures by the end of its second quarter.

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The restructuring includes adding new drive thru locations, the expansion of delivery and a pilot of curbside pick-up only coffee shops.

Read more: Dundas St. Starbucks latest London, Ont. business to close down

The company began experimenting with pick-up only locations before the pandemic. The first Canadian Starbucks store using the new format, which measured 93 square metres or 1,000 square feet, launched in Toronto’s financial district last January.

Starbucks says the changes will help the coffee chain “best meet our customers where they are now.”

The company had previously said it would close up to 200 of its locations in Canada over two years.

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