Starbucks shutting some locations due to safety concerns
Starbucks said it is closing 16 stores, most of them in major cities, due to safety concerns for workers and customers. The decision comes after company executives read through incident reports filed by employees, according to a company memo.
Employees are "seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities — personal safety, racism, lack of access to health care, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use and more," wrote Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of U.S. operations, in a memo sent to employees.
The locations range from historic areas such as the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles' Hollywood neighborhood to transit centers such as Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. Since the pandemic shuttered the economy in early 2020, mental health issues as well as misuse of drugs have increased, while the recent surge in inflation has added to shoppers' stress.
Retailers are reporting that organized retail crime gangs and workplace violence are growing concerns, according to the National Retail Federation.
"These are the challenges that are being experienced across the country. There are chronic homeless issues, substance abuse and social unrest," a Starbucks spokesman told CBS MoneyWatch. "These are all things that we are familiar with, and Starbucks is uniquely positioned to see these challenges" due to their locations across the nation.
Starbucks said it is closing five stores in Seattle; another six locations in Los Angeles; two in Portland, Oregon; one in Philadelphia; a location in Everett, Washington; and one store in Washington, D.C. The company has more than 16,826 company-owned and licensed stores in North America.
The workers at the locations that are closing will be able to transfer to other stores, the spokesman said.
In response to concerns about safety and other issues, Starbucks said it is providing employees with the flexibility to limit or close restrooms, as well as to redesign stores to give workers complete line of sight within the store. Other options include changing a store's hours of operation or testing techniques like restroom occupancy sensors and new alarm systems, the memo added.
Here are the locations where Starbucks plans to close stores:
- Santa Monica Boulevard & Westmount Drive in West Hollywood
- Hollywood Boulevard & Western Avenue
- 1st Street and Los Angeles Street
- Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street
- Ocean Front Walk and Moss inSanta Monica
- 2nd Street and San Pedro
- 23rd Avenue and South Jackson Street
- Roosevelt Square
- East Olive Way
- 505 Union Station
- Westlake Center
- 4th and Morrison
- Gateway at NE Halsey St.
- Highway 99 and Airport Road
- 10th Street and Chestnut Street
- Union Station Train Concourse
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