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Starbucks could close stores as a last resort.

Starbucks considers drive-thru-only or limited seating; but closing stores is a last resort during coronavirus outbreak

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson sent a letter to customers about the company’s preparations during COVID-19 pandemic

Following an announcement that the company would start expanding catastrophe pay for employees affected by coronavirus, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson sent a letter to customers on Thursday detailing the various precautions the company is taking to navigate the spread of COVID-19.

Johnson clarified that precautionary policies will be enacted on a “store-by-store and community-by-community basis,” and could include limited seating in an effort to increase “social distancing,” mobile order-only scenarios for pickup or delivery, or closing the in-store experience and only keeping the drive-thru open. Johnson clarified that complete store closures will only happen “as a last resort” and that “store disruption” will only be temporary as the company navigates the growing health situation.

“At Starbucks, we believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritize two things: the health and well-being of our customers and partners while also playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus,” Johnson said in the letter to customers.

Starbucks has been keeping customers and employees up to date as the coronavirus situation worsens. Earlier this week, the company announced the first temporary closure and quanratine of a store after an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. Last week, the company also announced that it would be pausing its “for here” personal cup program but still offer the discount.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @joannafantozzi

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