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Starbucks charts a choppy course to recovery in 2021

The world’s largest coffee chain narrowed revenue and like-for-like losses during its first fiscal quarter, but a full recovery appears some way off as Covid-19 continues to disrupt sales in most markets globally

“We remain optimistic about our robust operating outlook for fiscal 2021", said Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson (pictured) | Photo credit: Starbucks Coffee Company



Starbucks has reported its first quarter results, showing the Seattle-based coffee chain continues to gain ground on its Covid-19 losses, but that a full recovery looks some way away.
 
Starbucks reported consolidated net revenues of $6.7bn for the 13-weeks to 27 December 2020, a 5% decline on the same period in the year previous. The company cited the continued impact of reduced customer traffic, modified store operations, reduced store operating hours, and temporary store closures due to Covid-19, as on-going headwinds for the business.
 
In Starbucks’ flagship US market, like-for-like stores sales fell 5%, improved from the previous quarter’s -9%, while average ticket rose 19% as consumers purchased more items during fewer visits. Like-for-likes across the Americas region declined 6%.
 
However, in China, Starbucks’ key growth market, like-for-like sales grew 5%, reflecting the East Asian country’s more advanced recovery from Covid-19 compared to many economies globally.
 
“Investments in our partners, beverage innovation and digital customer relationships continued to fuel our recovery and position Starbucks for long-term, sustainable growth,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.
 
“We remain optimistic about our robust operating outlook for fiscal 2021 as well as our ability to unlock the full potential of Starbucks to create value for our stakeholders,” he added.
 
Despite on-going disruption caused by the global pandemic, Starbucks still managed to open 278 net new stores worldwide during the period – even as the chain moved to permanently close some stores, including up to 300 cafés in Canada by the end of 2021. Starbucks now operates 32,938 stores around the world, 51% of which are company-operated, the company reports.
 
Stores in the US and China comprised 61% of the company’s global portfolio at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2021, with 15,340 and 4863 stores, respectively.

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