Starbucks warns of 50% China same-store sales slide this quarter

March 06, 2020 09:41
A worker uses a thermometer to check the temperature of a customer at a Starbucks shop in Beijing on Jan.30. The coronavirus outbreak has led to steep drop in business in China for the US-based coffee chain. Photo: Reuters

Starbucks said on Thursday that it expects China sales in stores open for at least a year to fall by about 50 percent in the quarter ending March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The company said the impact of the epidemic could reduce its fiscal second-quarter revenue in China by US$400 million to US$430 million versus its prior expectations, and hurt its adjusted earnings per share by 15 cents to 18 cents, Reuters reports.

"The estimate reflects the impact of expected lost sales for the period, as well as continued expenses related to partner wages and benefits, store operations and additional costs incurred in response to the COVID-19 outbreak," the company was quoted as saying in a regulatory filing.

The world’s largest coffee chain said it has been forced to defer some store openings planned in China for fiscal year 2020 due to the outbreak.

Starbucks said its business has also been affected in Japan, South Korea and Italy due to store closures and reduced customer traffic, but it is unable to quantify the impact as the outbreak is still in early stages.

The company, which gets 70 percent of its revenue from the United States, said it was business as usual at home.

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