You’ve probably already heard about employee layoffs and store closures at Starbucks. For a look at the letter CEO Howard Schultz sent out to partners today, click here.
I’ve just signed off from the conference call with analysts, and you could hear the frustration in Schultz’s voice as he spoke of “the worst holiday shopping season since 1969″ and how “I believe we are navigating this storm effectively.”
About how there will be renegotiations with landlords over the rents paid at Starbucks locations, about maintaining the “value continuum” and how “we’re dealing with something we’ve never dealt with before.”
Concerning which South Sound stores will close, I’ve received this reply from a Starbucks spokesman:
“Though we do know our Seattle-Tacoma area stores will be impacted, we do not at this time have specific details about numbers of partners or stores that will be impacted by these announcements.
“Partners affected will be personally notified of any change to their job status during the first half of February 2009. Store partners working in stores that are scheduled to close will be notified once a full assessment has been completed, which is expected to occur by fiscal year end. While this waiting period creates uncertainty for all partners, out of respect we felt it was important to be as transparent as we could with partners and announce our intentions as soon as we were able.”