Starbucks Stores to Close Temporarily Tuesday for Anti-Bias Training

Starbucks shops around the country, including those in Huntington, will close for several hours Tuesday so employees can receive anti-bias training after two African-American men were arrested at one of its Philadelphia stores in April.

The Starbucks stores in downtown Huntington and at Walt Whitman Shops will close at 3 p.m.

“We’re closing for four hours on May 29 to have a conversation as a company to learn about overcoming racial bias, and other challenges in our society that sometimes show up in our more than 8,000 company-owned stores,” a Starbucks spokesperson said.

In the Philadelphia incident, two black men walked into a Starbucks in downtown Philadelphia and sat down. When they asked to use restroom but  had not bought anything, an employee refused the request. Eventually they were asked to leave but declined, and a Starbucks employee called police, who arrested them.

Starbucks apologized two days later and scheduled the sensitivity training as one of several responses. It made public its curriculum for training.

The company said that while it is closing all of its more than 8,000 company-operated  stores on Tuesday, most of its 7,000 licensed stores, like those operated by major grocery stores, hotels, universities or airports, are expected to remain open.


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