Jul 12, 2022 - Economy

Starbucks to close 16 U.S. stores over safety concerns

A pedestrian carries a Starbucks branded cup in San Francisco. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Starbucks is closing 16 stores across the U.S. over safety concerns, a company spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Driving the news: The company is closing locations that "have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate," the spokesperson said.

  • The closures are in Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

The big picture: It comes after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced his plans for "the reinvention of the next chapter of the company" in a letter to employees on Monday. Safety is a major focus of the reinvention.

  • A second letter to employees on Monday from two senior company officials emphasized safety, noting their plans of "modifying operations, closing a restroom, or even closing a store permanently, where safety ... is no longer possible."

Starbucks said it's offering employees active shooter training to ensure they feel safe. It will also clarify its policies and procedures surrounding potentially harmful situations.

Worth noting: Employees at Starbucks stores across the country have unionized over the last few months. According to CNN, 133 stores have voted to unionize, with more elections underway at other stores.

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