All 8000 Starbucks locations to close for racial-bias training

Coffeehouse chain Starbucks has announced to shut its over 8,000 stores in the United States (US) for one day to conduct anti-bias training.

The training, which will close the more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the US, is created to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion and prevent discrimination, the company said.

The decision to temporarily close stores comes after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks when they tried to use the bathroom without ordering anything. As a result, the company has been battling a growing boycott movement after footage of two black men being arrested at a Philly store went viral.

Johnson did not directly answer a question from anchor Cheryl Casone on whether Starbucks would consider changing its "policy that customers have to buy something if they come into a store". Yaffee arrived as the officers put the men, who were not being disruptive or confrontational, in handcuffs for trespassing.

Almost 175,000 partners and employees across the country will be trained while the program will be part of the onboarding process for new partners. The Starbucks employee never called it a disturbance.

Starbucks said the curriculum for the training would be developed with input from several experts, including civil rights leaders and former US Attorney General Eric Holder.

"She recognizes that perhaps that call should not have been made", he said.

Another incident happened in a California Starbucks which is a similar incident to what happened in the Philadelphia Starbucks. (TWTR). Starbucks, which has struggled to revive foot traffic and hedge against the rising popularity of local and artisanal coffee shops, immediately sent its CEO to Philadelphia to apologize to the men in person and discuss the incident with city officials. Three minutes later, another dispatcher said a "group of males" was "refusing to leave".

The video showed other passengers complaining that the men didn't do anything wrong.

Two days after the episode, Starbucks apologised, and Johnson called the situation a "reprehensible outcome", The New York Times reported. The caption of the video on Twitter said, "The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything".


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