Starbucks to close 150 stores amid slowing sales

Starbucks announced it will close around 150 stores in fiscal year 2019

That prompted Starbucks, whose executive chairman and founder and former CEO Howard Schultz is leaving the company next week, to give investors an in depth update on its plans to kickstart growth.

Coffee retail giant Starbucks announced Tuesday its plan to close approximately 150 stores across the United States as a result of "slow growth", sending the Seattle-based corporation's stock prices down almost 7%.

The company anticipates lower net new store growth in the United States for fiscal 2019 and said it would address rapidly changing consumer preferences by introducing new cold drinks like a mango dragon fruit beverage and focusing on growing health and wellness trends.

Watch Starbucks trade in real time here. Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw said that the closures "had an impact". The company will hike its dividend 20% to 36 cents per share.

The world's largest coffee chain has faced increasing competition from upscale coffee houses and fast-food chains like McDonald's Corp and Dunkin Donuts in recent years, missing analysts' estimates for same-store sales in the USA -dominated Americas region in five of the last six quarters. He said the entire "slushy coffee" category is in decline as consumers look for healthier options. The company said that so far in 2018, Frappucino sales have fallen by 3 percent. The training also delayed the launch of Starbucks' spring and summer marketing campaign by about two weeks.

The Seattle-based company said it will close about 150 stores in fiscal 2019 in its most densely penetrated markets, 100 more than its historical average. That alliance frees Starbucks to focus on improving its mainstay US cafe business, where traffic growth had stalled.

Global same-store sales, at locations open for at least one year, were projected to rise 1%, weaker than the forecast for 2.9% growth according to Bloomberg.

Starbucks says it will accelerate its store closings in the USA next year to counter cooling sales growth. The locations of the stores to be closed have not been released.

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