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While Starbucks has established itself as one of the most beloved coffee brands in the world, people will be saddened to learn that the company will close more than a handful of branches.
The news first came out last week when a video began circulating on Twitter revealing an internal meeting between Starbucks executives.
The Starbucks meeting was posted on Twitter by Seattle radio host Ari Hoffman, who tweeted:
“EXCLUSIVE: Today at an internal meeting CEO Howard Schultz said: “Starbucks is a window into America… we are facing things in which the stores were not built for… we’re listening to our people and closing stores, & this is just the beginning. There are gonna be many more.”
The video has been viewed 337,000 times so far.
It was divided into two parts, each at a speed of 1:11.
Acting Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced the closure of 16 Starbucks stores due to security concerns.
The reports first appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
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“We are beginning to close stores that are not unprofitable,” said Schultz.
“This is just the beginning. There are going to be many more.”
The reason behind the decision
On July 13, a Starbucks spokesperson confirmed that the chain would close 16 stores by July 31, citing employee safety concerns.
The concerns were reflected in an open letter to employees of Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of Starbucks’ US subsidiaries.
“You also see firsthand the challenges our communities face: personal security, racism, lack of access to health care, a growing mental health crisis, increased drug use and more,” the letter reads.
“With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too.
We read every incident report you file – it’s a lot.”
The letter also indicates that Starbucks is working to improve safety in their stores, among other things, by training employees on de-escalation, active shooting situations and mental health.
Read also: Seven Starbucks Employees in Buffalo, New York, Were Released for Unionization Efforts, According to NLRB
What Schultz said
Howard Schultz said the coffee giants are closing stores (and possibly others in the future) after employee sessions, which Starbucks calls “retail partners.”
The interim CEO also said that employees had shared problems with Starbucks toilets and many other problems such as mental illness, homelessness and crime in various locations across the country.
“In my view, at the local state and federal level, these governments across the country and leaders, mayors, governors, and city councils abdicated their responsibility in fighting crime and addressing mental health,” Schultz said in another leaked video.
Schultz said the company is working on updating its stores’ operations to meet customer needs as customer behavior changes.
“We need to reinvent Starbucks for the future,” explains the CEO in an open letter.
Starbucks CEO on store closings: ‘There are going to be many more’
After Starbucks closes 16 stores, CEO says ‘there are going to be many more’