BEAN THERE: Jacqualine McCann and Perry Wells enjoy a final cup at Starbucks Ballina before it closes.
BEAN THERE: Jacqualine McCann and Perry Wells enjoy a final cup at Starbucks Ballina before it closes. Northern Star/Brenden Allen

Starbucks loses its shine

THE shock closure of 61 Starbucks cafes in Australia, including its Ballina outlet, has left coffee lovers like Perry Wells wondering where they will get their next fix.

The international chain has announced it will be closing its underperforming outlets by the end of the week in an attempt to lift profits.

An undisclosed number of staff at Ballina will be among almost 700 Australian employees who will lose their jobs following the closures, with the Ballina outlet to close tomorrow. Local staff would not comment yesterday.

“It's a real shock, and disappointing,” Mr Wells, of Lennox Head, said.

“They make good coffee here, but I suppose now we'll just have to go somewhere else.

“It's bad for the staff who will lose their positions ... you can always find somewhere to get a coffee, but it's harder to find another job.”

The Australian arm of the US-based company will keep open 23 stores in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

The announcement follows a decision by Starbucks last month to close 600 company-operated stores in the US, with the loss of up to 12,000 jobs.

The company blamed poor real estate decisions, coupled with the troubled US economy, for the closures. Starbucks' international boss, Howard Schultz, ruled out closing any of the company's other 15,000 stores around the world.



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