While Starbucks has established itself as one of the most popular coffee brands in the world, people will be saddened to hear that the company will be closing more than a handful of stores.
The news broke last week when a video circulated on Twitter revealing an internal meeting between Starbucks executives.
The Starbucks reunion 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 to date.
It was split 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 were first published in the Wall Street Journal.
“We are beginning to close stores that are not unprofitable,” said Schultz.
“This is just the beginning. There are going to be many more.”
What led to 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 raised in an open letter to employees of Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of Starbucks’ US subsidiaries.
“You’re also seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities – personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising 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 reveals that Starbucks is working to improve safety in its stores by training employees on de-escalation, active shooter situations and mental health, among others.
What Schulz said
Howard Schultz said the coffee giants were closing stores (and possibly others in the future) after meetings of staff Starbucks calls “retail partners.”
The interim CEO also said that employees have had issues with Starbucks restrooms and many other issues 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 a statement from another leaked video.
Schultz said the company is working on updating its store operations to meet customer needs as customer behavior changes.
“We need to reinvent Starbucks for the future,” the CEO explains in an open letter.