Starbucks: Why Stores In The U.S. Are Closing On May 29? — Everything You Need To Know

Starbucks will close 8,000 of its locations across the U.S. on May 29, and here’s everything you need to know! Find out if a Starbucks near you will shut its doors…

Yes, it’s really happening. Starbucks will close 8,000 of its U.S. locations for a portion of the afternoon on May 29, with over 175,000 of its employees undergoing racial bias training. The crucial decision to temporarily shut down came after a Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called the cops on two black male customers who were sitting in the establishment waiting for a friend. The manager’s complaint was that they hadn’t purchased anything. Staffers reportedly denied to let one male use a restroom. Police arrested the two men for trespassing, but they were later released without charges, leading Starbucks and police to publicly apologize.

“For several hours this afternoon, we will close stores and offices to discuss how to make Starbucks a place where all people feel welcome. Thank you for your patience and support as we renew our promise to make Starbucks an inclusive gathering place for all. See you tomorrow,” Starbucks tweeted on the day of its brief closing. Starbucks sought out several, reportedly pricey experts and researchers to help develop a curriculum for the training session, including Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Heather McGhee, president of the public policy organization Demos. The training sessions will also include rapper and actor, Common, 46. Stores will be closed for three hours starting at 1 or 2 PM, across the U.S.

Starbucks said in a statement that the training content will be shared with these stores “so they may have the option to make it available to their employees at a later date.” Target put a statement on its website saying that the Starbucks cafes in about 1,500 of its stores will remain open all-day May 29.

The company’s massive closure for racial bias training was organized after the coffee giant came under fire after the arrests. However, the incident resulted in the viral hashtag, #BoycottStarbucks. The arrests sparked protests against the Starbucks and CEO Kevin Johnson later released a public apology.

“I’m embarrassed, ashamed. I think what occurred was reprehensible at every single level. I think I take it very personally as everyone in our company does and we’re committed to making it right… closing our stores, 8,000 stores closed, to do significant training with our people is just the beginning of what we will do to transform the way we do business and educate our people on unconscious bias,” Starbucks executive chairman and CEO Howard Schultz told CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King back in April.

The Philadelphia store manager has now left the company, according to Schultz, though he did not divulge whether or not she was fired. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson also met with the two men in Philadelphia to apologize for the “reprehensible” incident, according to the company’s spokesperson, who declined to disclose the details of the meeting.

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