Starbucks is to close more stores, sell a newly delivered $45m corporate jet, and cut headquarters staff and worker benefits as it battles a slump in sales that has tracked the broader collapse in global discretionary spending.

The coffee retailer said yesterday that it would shut 300 more 'underperforming' locations – 100 of them outside the US – after a 9% fall in comparable sales in the last three months of 2008. It announced a first wave of 600 US store closures last summer.

The move will result in about 6,000 job losses, while an additional 700 corporate and support jobs will also be cut – half of them at its Seattle headquarters.

Howard Schultz, chief executive, said that since early December the company had seen a far more rapidly deteriorating global economy than it had expected before the holidays.

'The data shows that by virtually all statistical measures the pace of weakening in the business environment and global economy we were anticipating has been accelerating,' he said.

Financial Times, New York Times