Increasing crime, including assault, drug use, and theft has forced Starbucks to announce the closing of 16 stores later this month in an attempt to protect its employees.
The stores marked for closure are in “blue” cities and will close by July 31, including five in Seattle, one in Everett, six in the Los Angeles area, two in Portland, and stores in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Employees at the stores that are closing can ask to be reassigned to other stores.
“and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their witchcraft, nor of their sexual immorality, nor of their thefts” Rev. 9:21
A company spokesperson told the Seattle Times that the decisions on which stores to close were based on how many crime-related complaints were logged at each store and if attempts to lower those rates were successful.
In a memo to employees released Monday, Starbucks Senior Vice Presidents for U.S. Operations Denise Nielsen and Debbie Stroud said the changes are in response to store manager and employee complaints. “You’ve been open and honest with us about your experience…. You’re 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. 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 memo covered Starbucks’ reaction to employee input, which they said “directly shapes our policies, programs and benefits to ensure employees feel more supported and empowered.” Starbucks’ efforts to make the work environment safe for employees and patrons include “designing safe and welcoming stores,” “robust safety trainings,” increased benefits, and “clear policies and procedures.”