I am currently a barista at a Sacramento, California starbucks and have a twin sister who works down the street at a store that is closing down. Working for this company for over a year i have seen the changes since our CEO, Howard, came back. We have all be retrained regardless of how long we have worked or how high up we are, customer surveys are handed out randomly, customers are incouraged to send ideas to corporate, etc.  One of the major problems was how close the stores are located to eachother. In the shopping center my sister's store is located in there are 3 starbucks. Another one (the busiest of our part of sacramento) is right across the street. Because of this the store gets hardly any business. The stores that are being shut down were chosen because of their lack of business. My store is small and i decided to work for starbucks because i was spending more than i made at my other job haha. I know how hard it is to not have your own little coffee shop but honestly, there is one nearby that has just as good baristas and coffee if you give it a chance. Starbucks will not keep stores open because of petitions or anything like that because its not going to lost money just to keep a couple hundred customers extra happy. And as far as our pricing goes, we are actually now one of the cheapest coffee shops around. Check the prices, youll see that since gas and milk prices have gone up our prices haven't. The smaller companies had to raise their's in order to be able to pay their bills. The hardest part about the closures is how the baristas can handle losing their jobs.  So please, if you want to show support, TIP YOUR BARISTAS AND MAKE EXTRA STOPS AT CLOSING STORES!!!!