Starbucks said late Tuesday that La Boulange’s 23 California stores don’t fit in with its long-term growth targets, even though the brand itself will keep playing a big role as its French-style pastries are served in Starbucks cafes across North America.
Starbucks is closing all 23 retail locations of La Boulange, the upscale San Francisco bakery chain it acquired for $100 million in 2013 as it sought to improve its food offerings.
The Seattle coffee giant said late Tuesday that those locations don’t fit in with its long-term growth targets, even though the brand itself will continue to play a big role as its French-style pastries are served in Starbucks cafes across North America.
Starbucks also said that La Boulange founder Pascal Rigo, who stayed with Starbucks after the sale of his company, is leaving “to continue his passion for food in San Francisco,” and to devote more time to non-profit activities.
Most of La Boulange’s locations are in San Francisco. There’s one location in Los Angeles, according to La Boulange’s website. Starbucks is also closing two manufacturing facilities serving those retail locations, and an Evolution Fresh cafe in San Francisco. The closures will occur by the end of September.
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The company said it would seek to place as many of staffers manning those locations as possible within existing Starbucks stores.
The move signals a trimming of Starbucks’ retail concepts, which have proliferated with recent acquisitions, from La Boulange to juice maker Evolution Fresh to tea chain Teavana.