The coffee chain will quit selling The New York Times, Wall Street Journal or Gannett papers like USA Today in September, citing "changing customer behavior" in a Friday, July 12, statement.
A source familiar with the situation told the New York Post that the company is getting rid of newspapers in part because of the chronic problem of lost and stolen goods, referred to as "shrinkage".
Starbucks started selling newspapers, beginning with the Times, in 2000. The Post also pointed out that "many" Starbucks customers were accustomed to taking newspapers off display racks, reading them with their beverage, and then leaving the paper behind or taking it out of the store without paying.
"Some may have thought it was free, like USA Today in hotels", said one industry insider.
Starbucks confirmed that the end is near for newspapers.
The change will be implemented in all 8,600 USA stores come September.
The company will also be removing other items as it tries to declutter their store.
The decision is "based on changing customer behavior", she added.
Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported their respective digital readership grew by more than 20% in 2018, according to the New York Post.
The New York Times said it is "disappointed" with the decision. However, it is "confident that given our wide retail distribution, readers will have no trouble finding The New York Times for sale at nearby outlets".