- Starbucks is closing all locations across the US on Tuesday, with shops shutting down at about 2 p.m.
- Employees will attend a racial-bias training while stores are closed.
- The decision to close stores follows the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks.
Starbucks is closing all its stores nationwide on Tuesday, May 29, after an incident in which two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location.
Roughly 8,000 Starbucks stores are closing at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday and reopening with normal hours on Wednesday. Most licensed shops, such as those in grocery stores or airports, will maintain normal hours. You can check the hours at your local Starbucks on the company’s website.
Starbucks is using the afternoon to “conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores,” the company said in a statement in April. The training will cover topics such as “implicit bias” and “conscious inclusion.”
In April, Kevin Johnson, Starbucks’ CEO, was forced to apologise after a video of two black men being arrested at a Philadelphia location of the coffee chain went viral. Employees called the police when the men refused to leave the Starbucks after asking to use the restroom without having purchased any drinks.
“After investigating what happened, we determined that insufficient support and training, a company policy that defined customers as paying patrons – versus anyone who enters a store – and bias led to the decision to call the police,” executive chairman Howard Schultz said in an open letter on Tuesday.
Starbucks has already made some policy changes to address bias at the chain. People are now free to hang out at Starbucks and use the bathroom, even if they don’t make any purchases.
This will mark only the second time that Starbucks has closed all locations for training efforts. The last time the company did something similar was in 2008, when the struggling chain shut down all US locations to retrain employees on improving the “Starbucks Experience” by boosting technical abilities and customer service – a decision that cost the chain $US6 million.
Read more about Starbucks’ closures:
- Starbucks is closing all of its US locations early Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know.
- Starbucks is under fire for its treatment of black customers – but baristas say they have also experienced racism at the chain
- Starbucks is closing all locations in response to the arrest of 2 black men who tried to use a store’s bathroom – and it’s sparking a culture war on all sides
- Starbucks is doing something it has only done once before – and last time it cost the company $US6 million
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