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This Iconic Coffee Chain Is Closing 16 Locations by July 31

The company cited safety concerns as the main reason for the shutterings.

Even if you're a decently skilled home barista, there's still a good chance there's a coffee shop in your area that you frequent. After all, being able to rely on a cafe for a much-needed morning latte or an afternoon cold brew can be the sort of thing that gets your entire day back on track. But because of this special relationship, it can be tough when your go-to shop suddenly shutters. And now, one major coffee chain has announced that it will be closing 16 locations by the end of July. Read on to see if you could be losing your favorite cafe soon.

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Several major chains have recently announced they were closing locations.

store closed sign in window

Regardless of the overall economic climate, store openings and closings are a part of being in business, no matter how large your operation may be. And recently, several major chains have announced they would be trimming back their number of locations.

In June, Sears Hometown shut down more than 100 stores across the U.S. While the company never made an official announcement, many reported liquidation sales on social media in the weeks leading up to their closure, Best Life previously reported.

And even major supermarket chains have scaled back their operations. On June 3, popular regional grocer Sprouts closed down three locations in the U.S., shuttering two in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Now, the coffee world is facing a similar situation.

A major coffee chain just announced it would close 16 locations by the end of the month.

Cropped shot of a woman ordering a drink at a coffee shop

Depending on where you live, you may need to find a new place to get your daily cup of joe. On July 11, Starbucks announced that it would be closing 16 of its locations by July 31, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company specified that six cafes each in Los Angeles and the Seattle area would shutter, as well as one location each in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

Specifically, Seattle will lose locations in the Roosevelt neighborhood (6417 Roosevelt Way NE), Central District (2300 S. Jackson Street), International District (505 5th Ave. S.), the Capitol Hill neighborhood (1600 E. Olive Way), and the Westlake Center (400 Pine St.), The Seattle Times reports. One location in neighboring Everett (11802 Evergreen Way) will also shutter.

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The company cited safety issues as its reason for shuttering the cafes.

police tape and police cars

In its announcement, Starbucks said it had decided to close the specific locations due to safety concerns based on the number of crime-related incidents reported by employees and customers at each shop. According to a spokesperson, this included on-site drug use, high theft rates, and assault, per The Seattle Times. The company also clarified that it would transfer employees to other locations once they shutter.

"You're … seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities—personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more," Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of U.S. operations for Starbucks, wrote in a message to U.S. employees. "With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file—it's a lot," adding that "we cannot serve as partners if we don't first feel safe at work."

The message also outlined new policies for store managers that would allow them to address safety issues. This includes permitting them to close the coffee chain's famously public restrooms at specific locations, allowing for more flexible or reduced opening hours, and changing or reducing seating as necessary.

Starbucks recently shut down 130 locations for other reasons.

starbucks logo outside a store
JohnFScott / iStock

This isn't the first time this year that Starbucks has shuttered a number of its stores. On May 23, the coffee chain announced that it would be closing all 130 locations in Russia and "no longer have a brand presence in the market" due to the country's ongoing invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The decision marked the end of the company's 15-year run in the country, even though Russian operations generated less than 1 percent of its annual revenue, CNBC reported.

"Through this dynamic situation, we will continue to make decisions that are true to our mission and values and communicate with transparency," Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks at the time, wrote in March when the company initially suspended operations in Russia. "Thank you for the care and concern you are sharing with me and your leaders."

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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