Starbucks CEO Gives Progress Report Showing Sales Recovery

(Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said that sales are recovering as the coffee chain moves toward normalizing its operations.

“Over the last week, we have now regained about 60-65% of prior year comparable U.S. store sales while reopening under modified operations and with reduced hours,” Johnson said in a statement. “In China, we have seen progress as well and our comparable store sales have reached about 80% of prior year levels, reflecting gradual improvements over the past several weeks.”

The coffee giant is being closely watched as a barometer of consumers’ willingness to leave their homes and open their wallets following the intense lockdown measures that brought much of the economy to a standstill in the U.S. and beyond.

Starbucks shares rose as much as 1.7% to $79.11 in New York trading. The stock has declined 10% in 2020, outpacing the 8% drop from the S&P 500 Index.

The Seattle-based chain aims to reopen 90% of its U.S. locations by early June, with most limited to drive-thru, delivery and pickup at store entries. In some limited cases, it will allow to-go orders to be placed at the counter inside a store, so long as social distancing practices are possible.

Starbucks also announced it will extend its unpaid leave policy through September and will provide an update on health care benefits through the pandemic next week.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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