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Starbucks to close over 8000 stores for employee anti-bias training

29 May, 2018, 17:31 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Starbucks Finalizes Plans for Racial Bias Training, Including an Appearance From Common

It also ran as a full-page ad in the New York Times, USA Today and two Philadelphia papers. "How far can they change that after one afternoon of training", asked Marzia George, who is visiting San Francisco from London and says news about the Philly arrests made its way across the pond.

Starbucks said it is shutting down all its US locations - more than 8,000 stores across the country - Tuesday, May 29, in the afternoon for a company-wide racial bias education day.

Starbucks says while it is closing all company-operated Starbucks stores early for training Tuesday, most of its 7,000 licensed stores, like those operated by major grocery stores, hotels, universities or airports, are expected to remain open.

Starbucks management received a version of the bias training this week, Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund told CNN. The last time the company did something similar was in 2008, when the struggling chain shut down all U.S. locations to retrain employees on improving the "Starbucks Experience" by boosting technical abilities and customer service - a decision that cost the chain $6 million. The training will cover topics such as "implicit bias" and "conscious inclusion". Robinson and Nelson settled with the city and received a symbolic $1 each, with the promise from local officials to set up a $200,000 scholarship program for young entrepreneurs. "We are here to make sure Starbucks is a place where everyone, everyone feels welcome", says CEO Kevin Johnson in the video.

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"May 29 isn't a solution, it's a first step", he said.

"Our hope is that these learning sessions and discussions will make a difference within and beyond our stores", said Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president for US retail, in a news release.

This will mark only the second time that Starbucks has closed all locations for training efforts.

Schultz called the events at the Philadelphia store "reprehensible" in his letter, and said the closures were an opportunity for the company's employees to reflect on internal biases and racism. The training will include a documentary film and video messages from Starbucks executives and rapper Common, as well as a discussion among store employees about their own experiences with bias.

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