Starbucks will be closing its stores and corporate offices on May 29 for company-wide racial bias training. The announcement comes in response to public protests and calls to boycott the coffee chain. Protesters are upset about the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia store last week. The store manager called 911 when the men refused to leave after trying to use the store’s restroom without making a purchase.
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“CBS This Morning” Gayle King sat down with Starbucks’ executive chairman Howard Schultz to discuss how the company is handling the incident.
“I’m embarrassed, ashamed. I think what occurred was reprehensible at every single level. I think I take it very personally as everyone in our company does and we’re committed to making it right. The announcement we made yesterday about closing our stores, 8,000 stores closed, to do significant training with our people is just the beginning of what we will do to transform the way we do business and educate our people on unconscious bias,” Schultz said.
“It will cost millions of dollars, but I’ve always viewed this and things like this as not an expense, but an investment in our people and our company. And we’re better than this,” he said of the company’s plan to close on May 29.
According to Schultz, the Philadelphia store manager who called the police has left the company.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the reason that they (police) were called was because they were African American,” he said. “That’s not who Starbucks is.”