Starbucks to lay off 350 corporate staff as part of organisational shake-up

Starbucks is said to be laying off approximately 350 corporate employees. In a memo seen by Marketing, CEO Kevin Johnson said that the decision was made after "careful consideration" across the company.

While the decision was "incredibly difficult", the job cuts came as a result of work that has been eliminated, deprioritised or shifting ways of working within the company.

"Building the next chapter of Starbucks requires us to focus on fewer priorities and transform how our functional teams work in order to accelerate the velocity of innovation that is relevant to our customers, inspiring to our partners, and meaningful to our business," Johnson said.

The memo further added that these layoffs would "primarily affect" employees at its Seattle Support Center, and that Starbucks will handle each situation "with compassion and respect" for the impacted partners.

The lay-off of the non-store employees is part of an organisational shake-up first announced by Johnson in September. He said that the coffee giant must "increase the velocity of innovation" which is relevant to its customers and inspiring for its partners as well as meaningful to its business. To accomplish this, the company had planned to “make some significant changes” to how it works as leaders in all areas of the company.

The coffee giant is also seeking to reverse stagnant sales and “rekindle” investors’ interest. With the fast-growing regional chains’ demand for frappucinos, the coffee giant is looking to quicken the arrival of its new menu items as it also works on reducing waste and pushing innovation in other areas.

Marketing has reached out to Starbucks for comment on Asia Pacific operations.

Most recently, Starbucks opened its first signing store in the US, modelled after the one in Kuala Lumpur, which opened in July 2016. In 2016, Starbucks Malaysia collaborated with The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID) to open a store dedicated to providing employment opportunities for deaf partners. Its managing director, Sydney Quays, said in 2016 that Starbucks aims to raise public awareness of the value people with disabilities bring to the workplace and to enrich the lives of many more deaf partners.

Meanwhile, the coffee giant deepens its sustainability commitment as it unveiled plans to build 10,000 “greener stores” globally by 2025, a move with the potential to save the brand an incremental US$50 million in utilities over the next 10 years. The coffee and beverage giant has been treading the path to “go green” when in July, it planned to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020.