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UF Starbucks to remain open despite nationwide closings

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2008 12:00 am

While the number of Starbucks locations nationwide will soon be downsized by 600, UF students will still have all four campus stores to quell their caffeine cravings.

In a letter sent to stores Tuesday, CEO Howard Schultz announced that beginning in mid-July and lasting through March 2009, the company will close 600 of its "underperforming" locations.

"For more than a year now, we have seen the adverse impact that a slower economy and dramatic decline in consumer confidence have had on our U.S. business," Schultz wrote.

Jill Rodriguez, the marketing consultant for Aramark, UF's food service provider, said the stores on campus would not be affected but could not elaborate on the reasons for that.

The fate of other Gainesville locations is not yet known as this information is still being finalized, according to a company statement.

Starbucks also expects to open fewer than 200 new stores starting in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, according to a company news release.

Seventy percent of stores drafted to close have been open fewer than three years.

As a result of the decision, many full- and part-time employees will be laid off if they cannot be placed at nearby locations, Schultz wrote.

"By far, this is the most angst-ridden decision we have made in my more than 25 years with Starbucks," he wrote.

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