Starbucks Shuts Down Shops to Discuss Discrimination

On Tuesday, May 29, Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores across the United States for the afternoon to have a “discussion” about racism, bias, and discrimination with its employees. The decision to hold the event was prompted by an April 12 incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks where a manager called police on two black men waiting for a friend in the store. The coffee corporation has been both praised and derided for its decision to close down shops to hold anti-bias training (with some critics saying these large societal problems cannot be solved in an afternoon).

Starbucks has been public in talking about the Philadelphia incident and the brand’s response—including emailing an open “letter” from executive chairman Howard Schultz to customers on the day of the store closing. As with any corporate move of this nature, the question is whether customers will view the steps Starbucks is taking as authentic or more focused on maintaining the brand’s public image. You can read the letter below and decide for yourself.

Starbucks Letter from Executive Chairman Howard Schultz

  • SOURCE: Starbucks Newsroom
  • BRANDS: Starbucks
  • WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: Because you like the idea of creating a more welcoming world

What is BUZZ?

The team has curated some of the most buzzworthy marketing related topics ever assembled in one place. Our BUZZ section houses it all—branding, advertising, pop culture, and everything in between. Check out our buzz finds—we promise they’ll blow your human mind!