Starbucks said that it’s closing down 8,000 U.S. stores for several hours next month to conduct “training” after two black men were arrested in one of its Philadelphia stores.
The firm said it will close down on May 29 and will “conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores,” it said in a statement.
“The training will be provided to nearly 175,000 partners (employees) across the country, and will become part of the onboarding process for new partners,” Starbucks said in the statement.
Kevin Johnson, Starbucks’ CEO, was forced to apologize after a video of the arrest went viral. Employees called the police after the two men refused to leave the store without paying for anything while asking to use the bathroom.
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Johnson said. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution.”
There are more than 8,000 Starbucks stores that employ 175,000 people around the United States. The company has about 25,000 stores around the world.