070208starbucks.jpgStarbucks has announced it's closing 600 stores in the U.S., bringing the total number down to approximately 9 gazillion, most of them located in Astor Place. Stocks have fallen 24% so far this year, and its second quarter was its weakest as a public company. The Seattle-based chain says it will try to relocate employees to other stores, but thousands of layoffs loom. Financial analyst Sharon Zackfia tells the Times, “I don’t think it’s overly surprising. These stores were in aggregate unprofitable.” No word yet on how many NYC Starbucks locations will close, but one hopes it’s kept to a minimum, because where else will we use the bathroom?