Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check out Line: Store growth plans squashed


sbux.jpgCheck out fewer places to sip that latte or buy that power saw.

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.

hd.jpgThen on Thursday morning, Home Depot said it plans to close 15 underperforming stores and will curb future store openings.