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STARBUCKS Hit with Mysterious North American Outage...

CNBC

A widespread systems outage hit Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada Friday night, leading to many locations giving away free drinks.

Many stores closed early, according to a statement posted on Starbucks' website. 

An earlier statement said that the point-of-sale systems at company-operated stores went down during a daily update. The outage also affected Evolution Fresh and Teavana stores.

"We are actively working to resolve the outage and our stores will remain open and continue to serve our customers," the statement said. 

Twitter and other social media lit up late Friday with reports that stores' computer systems were down. Media reports suggested the outage began just after 7 p.m. ET.

Many people across the country said store managers had given them free drinks, since the stores could not accept payment. Other stores reportedly closed entirely. 

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