Starbucks will shut more than 8,000 US stores to conduct racial-bias training on May 29
Last week, two black men were standing outside the Philadelphia Starbucks when they were arrested by the police. The men were waiting outside the Starbucks for their friend. Both of them were asked to leave, which sparked an outrage across the nation.
To combat this situation, Starbucks Corp is planning to close down 8,000 company-owned US cafes for the afternoon on May 29. The company will train more than 175,000 staff members on how to prevent racial discrimination in its stores.
Other 6,000 licensed Starbucks cafes will remain open. Starbucks will provide training materials to the employees of those stores, who are employed by the grocery stores or airports where they are located.
Protesters have called for a boycott of the company, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson was asked to apologize as the video which was uploaded on Twitter, sparked accusations of racial profiling at the chain.
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
The video showed other passengers complaining that the men didn't do anything wrong. The caption of the video on Twitter said, “The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing.
Starbucks was already facing a tough competition from other coffee sellers and fast food chains. Johnson, a former technology executive was trying to increase the traffic for the company.
The company did not say anything about how many hours the stores will be closed. Nonetheless, the closing of the stores in afternoon willl affect the company's sales on May 29.
Johnson said, "While this is not limited to Starbucks, we're committed to being a part of the solution."
Attorneys for the company said Johnson and the two men involved have "engaged in constructive discussions about the racial discrmination issue as well as what is happening in communities across the country."