Maybe Howard D. Schultz does have the right idea. Mr. Schultz, the former chairman and chief executive of Starbucks, who reclaimed the company’s reins in January, has ordered 600 stores closed and 12,000 employees laid off as part of a back-to-basics reorientation of the Seattle company.

The effects of that strategy hit home this week, when Starbucks announced that 11 of the 600 stores scheduled to close are in New York City. Six of the 11 stores are in Manhattan, all of them in Midtown.

A sampling of customers interviewed at three of the Midtown stores — which could be open until as late as mid-2009 — revealed relative indifference to the news.

At one of the stores, at 565 Fifth Avenue, at 46th Street, Shannon Perrin, 35, who works in finance and lives near Gramercy Park, was meeting a friend for what she described as “a personal crisis.”

“The world can do with less Starbucks,” Ms. Perrin said, adding, “Quite frankly, their coffee isn’t that good. But it is convenient. We needed to meet immediately, and it’s a good place to sit down and get out of the sun.”

Ms. Perrin and her friend, Alicia Moy, 30, sat down at a table but acknowledged that they had not bought coffee — or anything else — from the shop. (They were the only customers in the store when they were interviewed, around 12:30 p.m.)

At another Starbucks shop that will be closed, at 1600 Broadway, at 48th Street, John Kim, a 36-year-old lawyer from Bergen County, N.J., was drinking a grande — one might also say medium-sized — iced coffee. “I don’t really mind them shutting down this location, because there are tons on this street — like every 10 feet,” he said.

Nearby, also drinking a grande iced coffee, was John Rosa. A 23-year-old investment banker who lives in Midtown, he said of the store, “It’s the most convenient for me, but there are, like, 50 other ones. I guess there will be an extra two-minute walk. I’ll move on. When you come to the same Starbucks every day, you get to know the people who work there. They know my order. I guess I’m going to have to meet new people.”

Store employees expressed anxiety about the closing of stores, but said they were taking a wait-and-see attitude. Although Starbucks has announced plans to lay off as many as 12,000 employees nationwide, most of the workers interviewed at the New York stores on Friday said they were hoping to get a new assignment within the company.

Athena Rivera, 20, who has been working at the 1600 Broadway store for five weeks and lives in the Bronx, said, “I’m O.K. with it, as long as I still have a job. They told us, all the partners are to be placed before the store closes.” The process could take five to six months, she said.

At a Starbucks store at 1675 Broadway, near 52nd Street, Ashley Henry, 19, who lives in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, and has been a barista for a little more than a year, expressed concern about the uncertainty. “We won’t be out of a job, but we don’t know where we’ll be,” she said. “You get used to working in a place. You know your customers. You know their drinks. I guess it’s kind of like being displaced.”

The shop where Ms. Henry works is in a ground-level retail space of an office skyscraper. Dennise Lopez, 26, a marketing worker from Corona, Queens, works in the building.

While drinking a green tea and lemonade mix, she noted that from the lobby of the office building she could directly enter the shop, without leaving the building.

“It’s in the building I work in, so I’m disappointed,” she said of the closing. “Now I’ll have to go outside, in the heat, or the cold. It was convenient.”

“Oh, well,” she added with a shrug.

Mathew R. Warren contributed reporting.