• 72°

Oxford Starbucks in ‘no danger’ of closing as chain announces restructure

Starbucks Coffee announced Wednesday that the chain would be closing 400 of its café stores over the next 18 months, but Oxford’s location will not be one of them.

In a press release, Starbucks stated the company plans to “accelerate the transformation of its store portfolio” through an increased integration of the physical and digital customer experience. The changes were spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the chain shift from an emphasis on its stores as in-person gathering places, to customers relying heavily on drive-thru and digital orders on the Starbucks app.

“Starbucks stores have always been known as the ‘third place,’ a welcoming place outside of your home and work where we connect over a cup of coffee,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a news release. “As we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, we are accelerating our store transformation plans to address the realities of the current situation, while still providing a safe, familiar and convenient experience for our customers.”

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 80 percent of Starbucks’ transactions were on-the-go, according to the news release.

Many of the café stores that are closing will be replaced by Pick-Up locations in larger markets.

There are several Starbucks locations in the LOU Community: three on the University of Mississippi campus, one inside the recently expanded Kroger on University Avenue and one café store on West Jackson Avenue.

The West Jackson location store manager told the EAGLE that Starbucks in Oxford is in “no danger” of closing, as it is the only café store within an hour’s drive in all directions.