NEW YORK (AP) – Starbucks says it will accelerate its store closings in the U.S. next year as it tries to boost sluggish sales.

The Seattle-based company announced Tuesday that it will close 150 underperforming stores in heavily penetrated markets, up from the usual rate of 50 closings a year.

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The company also said it expects 1 percent growth in global sales for the third quarter, a period that encompassed an uproar over the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks. Starbucks closed its U.S. stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for its employees.

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CEO Kevin Johnson told investors the company halted its marketing campaign for cold beverages while it addressed with controversy, which may have affected sales.

Starbucks shares slipped nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading.

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