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Starbucks' Comparable Sales Tumble 10% Worldwide

By Rich Duprey - Apr 29, 2020 at 9:39AM

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The coffee shop's decline was led by a more than 50% plunge in China.

Starbucks (SBUX -1.17%) saw global comparable sales wither by 10% in its fiscal second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic forced the coffeehouse to shut its restaurants first in China and then elsewhere around the world.

Half of Starbucks' U.S. restaurants remain closed, though it does have a plan to begin reopening them, suggesting third-quarter comparable sales numbers will be depressed as well.

Man crushing coffee cup

Image source: Getty Images.

A worldwide dilemma

Impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, Starbucks' problems originated in China, where comps plunged 50%, and spilled out into the rest of its international markets, where sales tumbled 31% from the year ago period. 

That it hit the U.S. later is reflected in Starbucks seeing same-store sales drop a comparatively light 3%, though it was able to offset some of the decline as those who did order ordered more, with average transaction value rising 4% even though traffic was down 7%.

Data analytics firm tracked foot traffic patterns at the coffee shop in the U.S. with visits to its stores in January and February at a healthy clip above their baseline. In March, when the COVID-19 outbreak intensified, visits plunged 36% year over year.

Virtually all of Starbucks' stores are open again in China and it plans to have 90% of them open in the U.S. by early June. While that bodes well for the fourth quarter, Starbucks' current-quarter performance may be impacted again.


Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Starbucks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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