CNN Business — Starbucks is planning to close 16 locations across various cities, citing safety concerns.
The stores are in Seattle; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon. They will be closed by the end of July.
The decision comes as Starbucks works to change the company culture under interim CEO Howard Schultz — and as employees across the country vote to unionize.
“After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate.” – Starbucks spokesperson
In a Monday letter to employees, Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, both senior vice presidents of US operations, discussed safety in Starbucks stores.
Employees are “seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities — personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more,” they wrote, adding that “with stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too.”
Stroud and Nelson said they “read every incident report you file,” adding, “it’s a lot.”
To make workers feel safer in stores, the company is offering active shooter training and other types of trainings, they wrote.
It’s also offering mental health benefits, access to abortion care, clarity around shifts and store policies, and more, the letter stated. The company also may close restrooms to the public, overturning a 2018 policy.
“Most people I know who were working at Starbucks full-time have left for other coffee jobs.” – Tom Mangione, former Starbucks store manager and keyholder [Insider, Nov 15, 2021]
In cases where it isn’t able to create a safe environment in a store, Starbucks will close it permanently, the letter said. In those instances, the company will move employees to neighboring stores.
The moves are part of a broader effort to revamp the company, as outlined in a Monday letter from Schultz.
“We need to reinvent Starbucks for the future,” he wrote, noting that the company must “radically” improve employee experiences … read more.
According to police, when officers arrived they “quickly detained” Daixin Neill Quan, 33.
“In interviews with the victim and witnesses, Quan attacked a customer after she noted that the customer spoke with an accent,” police said. “When the victim began recording the incident, Quan lashed out and hit the woman several times, resulting in minor facial injuries.”
Police also alleged that Quan “made racially insensitive remarks to one of the Starbucks managers,” told him to “‘go back to your country,'” and said she would have him “deported back to Mexico.” Police said the man is of Indian descent … read more.