Starbucks to Close Tuesday Afternoon for Sensitivity Training
All Starbucks coffee shops will close at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday for sensitivity training, except for a select few.
Starbucks made the announcement earlier this month that they will close their stores and offices to discuss how to make their locations "a place where all feel welcome" with their 170,000 employees.
The announcement came on the heels of heavy criticism after an incident where an employee called law enforcement to arrest and escort two African American men out of a downtown Philadelphia store for simply sitting inside for a meeting without making a purchase.
The coffee-chain condemned the arrests and announced changes to their policies nationwide.
In an open letter to Starbucks customers released this morning, chairman Howard Schultz called the training the beginning of a "new chapter in our history." The arrests of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, both 23, "prompted us to reflect more deeply on all forms of bias, the role of our stores in communities and our responsibility to ensure that nothing like this happens again at Starbucks,” Schulz said.
For several hours this afternoon, we will close stores and offices to discuss how to make Starbucks a place where all people feel welcome.
Thank you for your patience and support as we renew our promise to make Starbucks an inclusive gathering place for all.
See you tomorrow.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) May 29, 2018
However, not all Starbucks locations will be closed Tuesday afternoon. About 7,000 licensed Starbucks stores found in hotels, airports, college campuses, commercial buildings and grocery stores have the option to remain open. Starbucks said in a statement that the training content will be shared with these stores “so they may have the option to make it available to their employees at a later date.”
Target, the big mass merchandizer, put a statement on its website saying that the Starbucks cafes in about 1,500 of its stores will remain open all-day May 29.
If you're needing your afternoon caffeine fix, here are the local Starbucks stores that will remain open on Tuesday, May 29th: