Starbucks announced closing 16 stores due to safety concerns across the US in major cities such as Washington D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and Philadelphia. The stores will close its operation at the end of July 2022, and employees will be moved to neighboring stores.
Starbucks’ spokesperson said that some locations had experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, said that the company may also overturn the policy of opening bathrooms to the public.
He also added, “We have to harden our stores and provide safety for our people.” Mr. Schultz announced that Starbucks would keep the bathroom open to anyone even without a purchase in 2018 when he was the executive chairman. According to Starbucks’ recent letter to employees, the company is now offering safety training like active shooter training to make workers feel safer in stores.
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