Starbucks plans to close the stores nationwide during the next year, including 70% of those stores opened since June 2006.
The company has not yet announced which stores it will close, but patrons of the coffee brewery throughout the Bronx hope their neighborhood location will be spared.
None of the Bronx stores were on a closure list released by Starbucks on July 11. However, that list only covers stores that will close this month.
“For more than a year now, we have seen the adverse impact that a slower economy and dramatic decline in consumer confidence have had on our U.S. business,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. “This has resulted in a drop in comparable store sales due to a reduction in customer traffic. As a result, we must be more disciplined than ever in examining and evaluating our business.”
The Starbucks location at 1728 Eastchester Road, between Bassett Avenue and Waters Place, opened on February 22, and patrons there hope their store will remain open.
“I think they shouldn’t close this location because it is the only one, other than Parkchester [1385 Metropolitan Avenue], that is near my home,” said Ida Carreras, who was in the Starbucks. “I love their lunches and sandwiches with fruit.”
Another patron in the store, who did not wish to be identified for this story, said she would mourn the loss of the store if it closed.
“It would be horrible because this is a good place to come to have a cup of coffee and meet with friends,” she said.
Across the Bronx, reactions were the same at the Riverdale location, which also opened recently at 3503 Johnson Avenue, at the corner of E. 235 Street.
“If this location closes, it won’t be too much of a shock, because it just opened,” said Daniel Leopold, who was enjoying a beverage in the store. “If they closed the 50 W. 225th Street location, I would be more concerned because then I would have to go into Manhattan to have Starbucks.”
Another patron of the shop agreed, saying that the area had many restaurants, but few places to get a cup of joe.
“I think it would be a loss if this store closed,” Lorraine Armstrong said. “Instead of the closing stores, they should be lowering their prices. There aren’t too many coffee shops around, and it is more cheerful in Starbucks, with a better atmosphere.”