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Starbucks to close more stores, cut more jobs

SEATTLE – Starbucks will cut 6,000 positions as it closes 300 stores worldwide over the next eight months and will eliminate about 700 non-store workers by mid-February as it cuts costs to stem its eroding profits.

The immediate layoffs include about 350 employees at its Seattle headquarters, about 11 percent of the 3,200 people who work there. The 300 store closures will include 200 U.S. shops.

Spokane stores will be affected, a spokesman said, but the company declined to name specific locations.

The company also said that its profit dropped 69 percent to $64.3 million, or 9 cents a share, in the first quarter ended Dec. 28.

The job cuts, store closures and other initiatives announced Wednesday are meant to save the company $500 million this year.

At CEO Howard Schultz’s request, the board will reduce his salary to less than $10,000 a year, the minimum necessary for him to continue receiving health insurance and other benefits. Schultz’s salary for the past few years has been $1.2 million; his total compensation last year was $9.7 million.

Starbucks also is trying to sell the $45 million corporate jet it bought last month, along with a seven-year-old Gulfstream that it tried to sell before taking delivery of the new airplane.