Starbucks to shut 8000 United States stores for an afternoon in May

Posted April 19, 2018

Chicaco Tribune - Starbucks has announced plans to close all USA stores and corporate offices on the afternoon of May 29 to train employees against racial bias after the arrest last week of two black men waiting at one of the company's Philadelphia stores.

Almost 175,000 partners and employees across the country will be trained while the program will be part of the onboarding process for new partners.

As the world has heard and saw, at least six Philadelphia police officers arrested two Black men at Starbucks after an employee called 911.

Two days after the episode, Starbucks apologised, and Johnson called the situation a "reprehensible outcome", The New York Times reported. The incident illustrated the bias that can affect even the most normal activities such as meeting someone for coffee in the United States public spaces.

The two men, who were arrested on suspicion of trespassing, were later released as Starbucks didn't want to press charges.

The stand-alone Starbucks store at 42140 Big Bear Blvd.in Big Bear Lake next to U.S. Bank is a company-owned store.

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"In fact, they were really trying not to make an arrest in this case", Ross said.

Starbucks has since found itself under fire for its treatment of black people, and top executives have reacted swiftly.

When asked what the company's policy is about buying something, a Starbucks spokesperson said: "In this particular store the guidelines were that partners must ask unpaying customers to leave the store, and police were to be called if they refused". Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said the arrests should not have happened and the company said he met with the two men. Jackson said he'd like to see the chain and other national companies take broader steps to combat inequality.

"What can Starbucks, given our resources, and the capabilities we have - they have an interest in real estate - what can we do to help advise them and support their own business endeavors", he said.

The closures cost the company an estimated $6 million, according to Schultz's 2011 book "Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul". Authorities also released dispatch and officer communications. The caption of the video on Twitter said, "The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything".

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