Published: Wednesday 18 April, 2018

Starbucks to Close ALL 8,000 Stores in US for Training After Philadelphia Racial Scandal

Starbucks has announced that 8,000 company-owned stores in the US will be closed next month for a ‘racial-bias’ training. Starbucks says about 175,000 will undergo training to educate employees about racial bias. This after a scandal brought about by the arrest of two black men in Philadelphia.

Starbucks racist scandal

8,000 Starbucks stores will close on May 29 across the US. (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Starbucks Coffee Company today announced it will be closing its more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States on the afternoon of May 29 to conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores,” said the coffee giant in its announcement.

“The training will be provided to nearly 175,000 partners (employees) across the country, and will become part of the on-boarding process for new partners.”

The announcement comes after public outrage over the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia. The two men asked to use the restroom but were told that its for paying customers only. The men then waited inside the store without ordering anything after which the manager called the police. The two black men were then arrested for trespassing.

No charges were filed. A company spokesman said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson met with the two men and apologized for how they were treated. The company also said the store manager who called the police is no longer working at the Philadelphia store.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Johnson said in a statement. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution.”

“Closing our stores for racial bias awareness training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

As the firestorm over the incident continues, another ‘racist’ incident surfaced on Facebook. A video at a Starbucks in California shows a black man saying he was denied the use of the restroom but a white woman was allowed minutes later.