Retailers, consumers and prices
Check out Line: Store growth plans squashed
Late on Wednesday, Starbucks said it would slash U.S. coffee store openings through 2011 as it adjusts to slower U.S. growth.
The coffee giant blamed the domestic housing crisis for a significant quarter-over-quarter deterioration in U.S. customer traffic and said it saw early signs of a potential traffic slowdown in the United Kingdom, which may be related to economic problems there.
“Starbucks coffee and premium coffee experience has, over time, been an affordable luxury. And at this time, it isn’t for some people,” Chief Executive Howard Schultz said.
Then on Thursday morning, Home Depot said it plans to close 15 underperforming stores and will curb future store openings.
Home Depot said it will no longer pursue the opening of about 50 stores that had been in its new-store pipeline. New store spending will be cut by about $1 billion over the next three years, it said.
Announcements of store opening slowdowns or store closures are nothing new this year. Retailers’ growth plans, designed during a consumer spending boom, are being squashed by the consumer spending slowdown.
In fact, it’s not even the first time we’ve heard from Starbucks. In January, the coffee chain said it would close 100 underperforming U.S. stores and slow domestic store openings in the face of a likely consumer recession.
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