Starbucks said on Tuesday that it would close its more than 8,000 stores in the United States for one day to conduct anti-bias training after two African-American men were arrested at one of its stores last week, prompting outrage.
The top chain Starbucks will close the stores May 29 to offer the training to 175,000 employees. Two men were arrested after asking to use the restroom at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.
An employee refused the request because they had not bought anything, according to officials. The men sat down and were asked to leave, and an employee eventually called the police.
The ensuing moment was recorded in a video that has been viewed more than millions of times on Twitter. In it, police officers appear to handcuff both men, as a third man, Andrew Yaffe, confronts them. Kevin R. Johnson, the company’s chief executive, stated in a statement that the will train their staff.
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,”
Starbucks operates more than 9,400 stores in the United States, Canada and Latin America, according to its most recent annual filing; those stores generated nearly $14 billion in revenue in the company’s most recent fiscal year. There are more than 12,000 Starbucks worldwide.
The company’s stock closed roughly flat on Tuesday afternoon.
What do you think on this incident by the world’s top chain?