THE movement for the boycott of American brands allegedly showing sympathy for Israel is very strong in Malaysia. But much of the hype surrounding these brands is probably based on clickbait headlines.
In this case, a local portal last week said seven Starbucks branches were forced to close. It did not specify the location in the headline nor did it say when the coffee outlets signed off.
This led to a large number of people commenting on the article, saying ‘Thank God’ perhaps thinking these Starbucks branches were in Malaysia.
The real story is Starbucks, in the month of October this year, announced aggressive expansion plans that it will execute by 2030 and these plans will impact 55,000 locations globally.
In the meantime, the company is also closing stores (seven in total) in San Francisco. The local portal article is actually about the San Francisco closures that took place in October this year.
The reason for the closures has nothing to do with the boycott campaign in Malaysia, indeed. The company said in its media releases that the seven locations to be closed in the Golden Gate City were to ensure “a healthy store portfolio.”
It also said, in the same breath, that it will be investing $2.5 mil in four other shops in San Francisco.
Why did they close the outlets? The answer is that the heart of the city is still struggling to get occupancy of office spaces back to pre-pandemic levels. – Nov 12, 2023