- Starbucks is closing all stores across the US on May 29 to “conduct racial-bias education” for workers.
- Response to the announcement of the closures was mixed on social media.
- Some applauded Starbucks, while others felt that the move was an overreaction from a “liberal” company or fell short of what needs to be accomplished.
In a decision that is sparking debate on all sides, Starbucks is closing all its stores nationwide in the wake of an incident in which two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location.
On Tuesday, the company announced it plans to close its more than 8,000 locations in the US for the afternoon of May 29 to “conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores.” The training will cover topics such as “implicit bias” and “conscious inclusion.”
The decision to close stores for a training comes after footage of two black men being arrested at a Philadelphia location of the coffee chain went viral. Employees called the police when the men refused to leave the Starbucks after asking to use the restroom without having purchased any drinks.
Backlash was swift, with some customers calling for a boycott and other people of color sharing similar experiences. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to the two men who were arrested and announced a review of the company’s training and practices.
When Starbucks announced plans to close stores, debate exploded. Here’s what people are saying: