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Starbucks Stores Give Out Free Drinks During Widespread Register Outage

A widespread systems outage affecting registers throughout the nation forced numerous Starbucks locations to give away free drinks Friday before closing stores early.

The company said the outage affected 7,000 stores in the U.S. and 1,000 in Canada. It did not explain exactly what caused the outage, which began in the early evening on the East Coast and in the late afternoon on the West Coast.

The coffee chain said late Friday night that the outage had been resolved and stores were expected to open for "business as usual" on Saturday.

Earlier, customers found some stores closed and others offered free brewed coffee or tea.

The company said the outage also affected four Evolution Fresh stores and six Teavana Tea Bar stores. It did not affect Teavana mall stores or about 5,000 licensed stores in the U.S. and about 300 licensed stores in Canada, Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson said.

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— The Associated Press

AP-US-Starbucks-OutageStarbucks: Computer outage fixed; stores to reopen SaturdayURGENTEds: APNewsNow. Updates with computer outage fixed. Will be expanded. With AP Photos. 1 photos, Starbucks Outage.CHRIS GRYGIELAPSEATTLEStarbucks says a computer outage that affected registers at 8,000 company-operated stores in the United States and Canada has been resolved. The coffee chain said late Friday night that stores are expected to open for "business as usual" on Saturday. The company said the outage affected 7,000 stores in the U.S. and 1,000 in Canada. It did not explain exactly what caused the outage, which began in the early evening on the East Coast and in the late afternoon on the West Coast. The company offered free drinks to customers before saying stores that had not already closed for the evening Friday were closing early. Starbucks apologized to customers for the inconvenience.