Starbucks' afternoon closure will cost about $12 million

Starbucks

Philadelphia police have released a recording of the call from the Starbucks employee that led to the arrest of two black men.

Starbucks released a statement Tuesday saying all 8,000 of its nationwide company-owned stores will shut down for a few hours May 29 for racial-bias education for about 175,000 employees. The gesture may also not affect too many customers on the day seeking a blonde espresso or caramel macchiato, though: About 41 per cent of locations aren't Starbucks-owned and may still remain open.

Responding to national outrage, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson called the arrests "reprehensible" and said he wanted to apologize to the two men face-to-face.

"While this is not limited to Starbucks, we're committed to being a part of the solution", he said.

While the decision to close stores to train employees on issues of racial discrimination is unprecedented, Starbucks has done something similar once before under Schultz's leadership.

Starbucks will develop the training with guidance from those confronting racial bias, including Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the company said.


The (estimated) cost could well be worth it for the coffee behemoth, as it faces opprobrium in its home - and biggest - market after a manager summoned police after two men waited at a Starbucks table without ordering. A video of the incident was captured and posted on social media, which drew millions of views.

The incident has prompted widespread condemnation, protests, an apology from Starbucks' CEO and a plan to close all the USA company-owned stores for an afternoon of racial-bias education. "Just lets you know as a country, we still have work to do". It is unknown if she will participate in the training as Starbucks keeps mum on claims that she already left the company.

But no matter how many millions the billion-dollar java joint stands to lose with one day of training, a number of racial justice activists and advocacy groups are not yet ready to sweep the incident under the rug. Based on Starbucks' latest quarterly revenue for April 2017 through July 2017, an average store in the region bags in $4,700 daily.

On Tuesday, Rachel Hooper, spokeswoman for the Commission on Human Relations, said in an email that the the training was a "good first step".

In addition, the mayor's office said the Police Advisory Commission will review practices involved in this incident, as well as review video and conduct interviews with those who were present.

The manager called the police because the men - who were waiting for another friend - did not place orders and asked to use the restrooms. A Starbucks store manager had called in a trespassing complaint. Employees added it was company policy that bathrooms were for customers only, Ross said.

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