Tracking Swine Flu, from NY Times 4-26-09

Tracking Swine Flu, from NY Times 4-26-09

Starbucks Corp. has temporarily closed 10 cafes in Mexico in respond to the swine flu outbreak there.

The Seattle coffee company (NASDAQ: SBUX) has about 260 stores in Mexico and has heeded Mexican government orders to close 10 of those stores in urban areas, mostly in and around Mexico City, said Kate Bovey, a Starbucks spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters.

In an effort to combat the flu outbreak, Mexican authorities have ordered restaurants, cafes and other businesses closed. The government also has put restrictions on the hours some businesses can operate.

“They just don’t want crowds,” Bovey said.

Bovey said the cafes are mostly near large population centers such as shopping malls and universities.

She said the number of Starbucks cafés closed in Mexico could fluctuate.

Starbucks managers are keeping a close eye on the medical crisis and monitoring updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control.

“We are a global company,” she said. “We have operations in 50 countries. It’s certainly important to monitor this.”

In a company statement, Starbucks said the swine flu outbreak has not impacted Starbucks operations outside of Mexico.

Puget Sound Business Journal