Starbucks Corp is laying off about 350 global corporate employees, chief executive officer Kevin Johnson said on Tuesday in a memo to employees.
The elimination of the non-store employees is part of a restructuring plan that Johnson unveiled in September in an attempt to make the company nimble enough to tackle rivals in a fiercely competitive U.S. coffee market.
"Every single decision was made after very careful consideration … And while incredibly difficult, they came as a result of work that has been eliminated, deprioritised or shifting ways of working within the company," Johnson wrote in the memo.
The layoffs would primarily affect employees at its Seattle Support Centre, the memo said. The Wall Street Journal first reported the layoffs.
Starbucks announced in late September that it was planning an organisation restructuring, which would include several leadership changes.
The announcement came as the world's largest coffee retailer faced a series of challenges, including a cooling U.S market and heavy competition from rivals, all while undertaking a massive expansion project in China.
It announced at the start of November that it experienced a better-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter sales at established stores as it benefited from higher prices in the United States and a rebound in China, sending its shares up nearly 9%.
In May, Nestlé said that it would take on approximately 500 employees from Starbucks as the two companies closed their agreement to grant the consumer-goods company the exclusive rights to sell Starbuck’s packaged products around the world.