Starbucks to Close 8,000 U.S. Stores in May for Racial-bias Training

PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 15: Protestor Jack Willis, 26, (C) demonstrates outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company’s CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Starbucks announced Tuesday that it plans to close more than 8,000 U.S. stores during the afternoon of May 29 in order to give employees racial-bias training, CNBC reports.

The announcement comes days after two black men were wrongfully arrested in a Philadelphia store while waiting for a friend. According to the company, the anti-discrimination instruction is “designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.”

On Monday, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized for the incident and confirmed the employee who called the police is no longer with the company.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” Johnson said in a statement. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

Starbucks has more 25,000 stores around the world.

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