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Report: Starbucks is laying off 350 employees at Seattle HQ

(AP)

Starbucks is laying off hundreds of employees, including those working at its Seattle headquarters in SoDo.

The Seattle Times reports that the major coffee company is laying off 350 corporate employees. The bulk of these layoffs will be at the headquarters. No retail employees are being let go.

The layoffs come shortly after Starbucks announced that it was trimming a number of its employees. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson sent a memo to headquarters employees in September. He said that the company is planning for the next phase of its growth — layoffs and restructuring are part of that plan. Johnson wrote that the changes were aimed at knocking down “barriers” to decision making and speeding up the process of innovation.

The corporate layoffs are not the only employees Starbucks has lost in recent weeks. The company also let go of seven executives with titles ranging from senior vice president to president. Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told the Puget Sound Business Journal that the executive layoffs were both voluntary and involuntary departures. Some went to Nestle which recently partnered with Starbucks to sell its products.

Earlier in 2018, Starbucks was closing under-performing stores at a greater rate than in the past — it usually closes about 50 stores annually. It is expected to close about 150 before the year is out. The company also recently reported its third quarter earnings, which were up 11 percent from the previous year — net revenues of $6.3 billion. But the Times notes that the company has experienced “lackluster sales growth in important markets.”

Meanwhile, Starbucks has planned expansions in other markets, such as Japan.

The news comes nearly four months after Howard Schultz stepped down. Schultz led the company to worldwide domination over the past few decades.

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