6 area Starbucks closing

Struggling in a slowing economy, Starbucks on Thursday listed which specific stores it will shutter as part of a 600-store nationwide closing first announced July 1. Of the 59 stores targeted in Florida, six are in the Tampa Bay area.

The closings will start this month and continue through the first half of 2009.

Some of the local stores slated to close:

• Clearwater (2): 27001 U.S. 19 (Countryside Mall) and 904 N McMullen-Booth Road.

• St. Petersburg (1): 625 Sixth Ave. S.

• Tampa (3): 13811 W Hillsborough Ave., 2164 E Fowler Ave. (University Mall) and 8021 Citrus Park Town Center.

Among states, California will lose the most Starbucks stores, 88, with two each in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 10 in San Diego.

The move to close the stores is a turnabout from Starbucks' aggressive expansion plans. The company curtailed those plans as it saw traffic and its profit decline recently as the faltering economy has led some consumers to question their spending on pricey coffee.

The emergence of Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's as less-expensive options for the gourmet coffee crowd has also taken away market share.

6 area Starbucks closing 07/17/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:35am]

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