Starbucks to Close 8,000 Stores for Racial Bias Training
Starbucks will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias. The announcement follows an uproar over the arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week. The store manager called the police. The racial bias training will be provided on May 29 to about 175,000 workers.
Total Retail's Take: Starbucks quickly went into crisis management mode following this incident late last week. CEO Kevin Johnson and other members of Starbucks’ leadership team went to Philadelphia this week to meet with the two men arrested and apologize, as well as listen to the local community. In addition to its immediate response, Starbucks announced that it will take the drastic step of closing all of its U.S. stores — costing it roughly $12 million in revenue — to better address this issue on a long-term basis with employee training. Credit Starbucks for taking immediate action, whether you agree with their solution or not.