Starbucks Lays Off 870 Assistant Store Managers

Starbucks announced today that they will be laying off 870 assistant store managers and not filling 530 vacant positions. In addition, 500 non-store positions will also be eliminated. Read the memo inside.

Starbucks says:

Dear Partners,

As we communicated on January 28, Starbucks is reshaping our operating model and organization structure to support the long-term health of our business. This includes both organizational changes and the difficult decision to reduce our global workforce. These changes are necessary as we navigate through this challenging economy, and they are critical to ensuring we have a sustainable and successful business going forward.

Based upon the company’s current and anticipated future needs, certain non-store and store positions have been eliminated or restructured globally. In some cases, certain roles or functions are being eliminated, and those partners will be separated. In other cases, there will be a reduction in the number of similar positions. The first part of this process took place last week with notifications in Partner Resources and Partner & Asset Protection.

Today, approximately 500 U.S. and Canada non-store partners are being notified that their positions have been eliminated. Of these, approximately 300 are at the Starbucks Support Center (SSC) in Seattle. Similar notification and consultation processes are currently taking place in company-owned international markets in accordance with local employment laws.

As part of a broader labor efficiency initiative, approximately 870 Assistant Store Managers (ASMs) are being notified today that their positions are being eliminated. An additional 530 unfilled open ASM positions will not be filled. This change reflects our current business environment, along with recent and new store closures and the reduction in new store openings. The ASM role continues to be critical; however, we no longer require as many positions.

A number of organizational changes are being announced globally to ensure that we have the right structure and leadership to support our strategy. These changes include:

• Canada and Latin America will be combined into a single region (Americas) in order to leverage regional talent and leadership and to make SCI more scalable.

• Our U.S. Field Operations structure will be realigned, with DSVPs focused on setting national strategy and implementing enterprisewide programs. RVPs and their RDs and field teams will focus on ownership of their respective regions and on localizing implementation of company strategies.

We are thankful and proud of the contributions our partners make to the organization, and we are committed to treating all partners with respect and dignity – those who are departing Starbucks and those who will stay.

Over the next week or so, partners who will continue on the journey with us will have a series of meetings with their leaders and workgroups. We will use these meetings to map out a direction for the future.

In the meantime, partners have many resources available to provide support. In addition to your leadership team and Partner Resources staff, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for all partners. In the U.S. and Canada, EAP counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (800) 682-0364. International partners may refer to the EAP numbers in their respective regions or markets for assistance.

We realize how difficult it is to say goodbye to partners who have played such a critical role in the success of Starbucks over the years. We thank you for your passion for Starbucks – and your fellow partners.


Chet Kuchinad

evp, Partner Resources

Over at Starbucks Gossip the former ASMs are sharing their stories. Rumors are flying that all assistant mangers nationwide are being let go, but the Seattle Times says that the number is a less than than half of all positions.

Starbucks pink slips going out today to HQ workers, assistant store managers [Seattle Times]
What are you hearing about Wednesday’s layoffs? [Starbucks Gossip]

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