(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp <SBUX.O> on Tuesday forecast global comparable store sales for the current quarter below estimates and said it would close more cafes as the coffee chain continues to face increased competition from upscale coffee houses and fast-food chains.
The company anticipates lower net new store growth in the United States for fiscal 2019 and said it would take steps to address rapidly changing consumer preferences by introducing new products, focussing on health and wellness trends.
The Seattle-based company said it will close about 150 stores in fiscal 2019 in its most densely penetrated markets, 100 more than its historical average.
“While certain demand headwinds are transitory, and some of our cost increases are appropriate investments for the future, our recent performance does not reflect the potential of our exceptional brand and is not acceptable,” Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a statement.
Starbucks said it expects global comparable store sales to rise 1 percent in the third quarter, below the 3 percent increase estimated by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company’s shares fell nearly 3 percent in after market trading.
(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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