Starbucks to Close 6 Stores in Los Angeles Area Amid Safety Concerns

By Alice Sun
Alice Sun
Alice Sun
July 14, 2022 Updated: July 14, 2022

Starbucks announced this week that the company will permanently close 16 stores across the country, including six locations in the Los Angeles area, due to a high number of dangerous incidents such as theft and assault.

The decision was made after the employees from these locations were “challenged in their ability to provide [a] safe and welcoming environment,” according to a spokesperson for Starbucks.

“Starbucks are a window into neighborhoods across America, including in L.A., and feel [such] challenges [in] a unique way,” the Starbucks spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

On July 11, Starbucks senior vice presidents of U.S. operations Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson published a message to the company’s partners addressing safety concerns for its employees and announcing plans to improve support, including providing safety training, permanently closing stores, or closing restrooms.

Stroud and Nelson said they have read “every incident report” and will ensure employees feel empowered.

“You’re also seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities—personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more,” read the letter.

The discussion about store closures has been going on for several months and is unrelated to the recent 7-Eleven robberies that occurred in Southern California, according to the Starbucks spokesperson.

In addition to Los Angeles, Starbucks is also closing six stores in Seattle, two in Portland, and one each in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. All closures will take effect on July 31, and employees will be given the opportunity to transfer to other stores.

The list of closures in the Los Angeles area include:

  • 1st & Los Angeles, Los Angeles
  • 2nd & San Pedro, Los Angeles
  • Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood
  • Hollywood & Western, Los Angeles
  • Ocean Front Walk & Moss, Santa Monica
  • Santa Monica & Westmount, West Hollywood

One of these stores is located in downtown Los Angeles, only five minutes walking distance from the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department.

“I recognize that the downtown area, the civic center, has had its challenges, particularly during this pandemic, with areas of persons experiencing homelessness and encampments,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said during a July 12 press conference. “I’m disappointed to see Starbucks or for that matter any commercial engagement give up or walk away from the city. And I’m hopeful that they’ll change that.”

This is the first time Starbucks has closed stores due to safety concerns. The company spokesperson told The Epoch Times that Starbucks does not have additional closures to announce at this time.

Alice Sun