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Citing Safety Issues, Woke Starbucks Closing 16 Stores in Dem-Run Cities, Says There Will ‘Be Many More’

Citing Safety Issues, Woke Starbucks Closing 16 Stores in Dem-Run Cities, Says There Will ‘Be Many More’

“Starbucks is a window into America… we are facing things in which the stores were not built for… we’re listening to our people and closing stores, and this is just the beginning. There are gonna be many more,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said.

Not only is Starbucks known worldwide for its coffee, but it’s also known here in America for being “woke,” as evidenced by its publicly stated support for the violent Black Lives Matter “protests” that wreaked havoc on Democrat-run cities across America during the George Floyd demonstrations:

In addition to that, Starbucks also created a stir a few years ago when they announced anyone could come in and use their restrooms, even if they hadn’t purchased anything. The policy was put in place after backlash and accusations of “racism” erupted after the 2018 arrest of two black men on “trespassing” grounds for allegedly refusing to leave the premises of a Philadelphia location after an employee told them they couldn’t use their restrooms because they hadn’t bought anything during their visit.

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said at the time, “because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than. We want you to be ‘more than.'”

As we previously reported, however, the changes backfired quickly on the popular coffee chain as it opened them up to all sorts of problems. For instance, bathrooms in areas like Manhattan sometimes reportedly had to be closed for days for “prolonged cleanings” stemming from drug use in the bathrooms and “incontinent vagrant” issues. In Seattle, employees were said to have had to take “antiviral medications to protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis” after “encountering hypodermic needles on the job nearly every day.”

Between all of that and the occasional rioting and looting that has happened at some of their locations thanks to woke agitators, Starbucks announced this week that they will be closing 16 locations in Democrat-run cities due to crime and safety concerns, and noted that “there’s gonna be many more”:

Not surprisingly, instead of reflecting internally on their own poor decision-making they laid the blame at the feet of local Democrats for failing to aggressively fight crime and for not doing more to address mental illness and drug addiction:

And for those thinking this is a “go woke, go broke” thing, in actuality Starbucks will be closing “profitable” locations because they feel there is nothing they can do about the issues they’re dealing with and because employees simply don’t feel safe:

Concern about store safety was central to a letter to employees published on Monday from Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, two senior vice presidents of U.S. operations at the coffee chain. The letter cites several societal safety concerns, including increased violence and drug use in the area of the stores.

“We know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file — it’s a lot,” the letter said. “Simply put, we cannot serve as partners if we don’t first feel safe at work.”

In addition to the store closures (six in Los Angeles, six in Seattle, two in Portland, OR, one in Philadelphia, and one in Washington, D.C.), the “new” bathroom policy in the short term apparently is to make it a store-level decision by the manager as to whether or not to open them to non-paying visitors (which, ironically is what they said got them in trouble in the first place in 2018 after the Philly incident):

The company also announced that store managers will be allowed to decide if store bathrooms are open to to non-paying customers and that new stores will be redesigned for safety and workers will be trained on how to deal with active shooters and use conflict de-escalation.

According to the memo, redesigns for safety will include “adjusting store formats, furniture layouts, hours of operation, staffing, or testing store-specific solutions.” The upgrades could also include bathroom occupancy sensors and alarm systems plus company paid ride shares for employees.

Employees at some of the stores that are closing will be reassigned to other locations.

Though the Democrat leaders the company blamed for their problems have not yet commented about the accusations that they’ve poorly managed their cities, I suspect that a very public war of words between the two sides will commence very soon, because leftists have a penchant for never wanting to admit it when they’ve done something wrong.

Whatever the case may be, the Dem on Dem infighting should be amusing to watch.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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2smartforlibs | July 15, 2022 at 1:03 pm

You supported and backed this. What did you think was coming?

    They’ll go to their graves in denial. Worse, they’re trying to take us off the cliff with them.

    Evil Otto in reply to 2smartforlibs. | July 16, 2022 at 7:58 am

    No leftist in the history of the human race has ever understood the concept of “unintended consequences.” To them, every plan will always work out exactly as they wish with no downside.

      MajorWood in reply to Evil Otto. | July 16, 2022 at 10:51 am

      There are two types of leftists. The idiots who never see the intended consequences, and the truly evil ones who desire the unintended consequences. Both are dangerous, but the latter way more so.

I’m in a good mood today. I support closing more stores.

For the cost of two cups of coffee/day at Starbucks, I can grind my own 1st rate coffee for 2 months. I’ve avoided the Starbucks culture from square one. You need a study guide to know how to order. And Winchell’s or Dunkin coffee is better for a fraction of the cost.

    Agreed. We order from Community Coffee in Louisiana- their ‘breakfast blend’ and change it up with something new once in awhile. I like them as a company – with their giving back and military matching programs. Locally, we have a Starbucks but neither the wife nor I like their coffee – it just seems bitter/biting and is served too hot. The better local coffee stand is known as Red Dog and serves Tully’s brand coffee. They have a more personal service and not at all drone-like Starbuck’s service.

      SeiteiSouther in reply to MrE. | July 15, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      I prefer French Market. Community’s coffee always had a bitter aftertaste to me. Don’t get me wrong, love supporting locally, but I can’t do it with their coffee.

      Re: Starbucks. Surprise! Trying to appease people will more than likely will backfire. During Mardi Gras, signs are prominently displayed “NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS” in the CBD. Hell, most businesses have that policy outside of Mardi Gras, because of the amount of homeless people that tend to congregate here.

      They made a poor business decision and it ended up biting them on the ass financially.

        “I prefer French Market. Community’s coffee always had a bitter aftertaste to me. Don’t get me wrong, love supporting locally, but I can’t do it with their coffee.”

        Funny how people’s taste-buds are calibrated differently. 😉 My dad couldn’t stand sour cream or cottage cheese. I like them both. Mom made sure Dad ate it regularly over their 50 year marriage by adding it to countless dishes. My brother-in-law is like my dad and says it tastes like vomit to him. He too gets it served to him regularly, by his mom and wife.

          henrybowman in reply to MrE. | July 18, 2022 at 6:55 am

          I can’t stand beer. My wife thinks cilantro tastes like soap. At least hers is a well-documented genetic quirk shared by a significant percentage of humans. Other than my children, I’ve never met anybody else who doesn’t like beer. Hope I’m not some kind of Darwinian punctuation.

          markm in reply to MrE. | July 22, 2022 at 12:44 am

          henry: Beer and other alcoholic beverages taste terrible to me, until I’m 2 or 3 drinks past the point I should have stopped. Since I can’t undrink those drinks when I get the warning sign that “this is starting to taste good”, I quit drinking at all. That was 46 years ago, and it was the first good decision I made in my life.

It’s oddly satisfyingly that the demise of Starbucks should begin in the very womb that gave birth to Starbucks.

Reap what you have sown, woke morons.

    ArmyStrong in reply to Paul. | July 17, 2022 at 8:06 am

    I haven’t been into a Starbucks store since they promised to hire illegal immigrants ahead of veterans. I won’t miss them.

    What’s really interesting is the ‘barista’ culture: that is, people who never grow up, but rationalize their trivial adult life by saying they work as a ‘barista’, instead of doing the exact same thing at McDonalds.

He doesn’t want to become a ‘public bathroom’ but is glad to be part, in good standing, of a larger Democrat sewer?

healthguyfsu | July 15, 2022 at 1:52 pm

To be a little fair, this might also be about union busting.

stevewhitemd | July 15, 2022 at 2:36 pm

…”Not surprisingly, instead of reflecting internally on their own poor decision-making they laid the blame at the feet of local Democrats…”

No reason why it can’t be BOTH poor decision making by Starbucks AND the Democrats.

Starbucks is both a local merchant and an international corporation. They have perhaps more swat at your average big-city hall than a mom-and-pop bodega. Mr. Schultz should be able to arrange a phone call with the mayor and express his concerns, and the mayor should be willing to listen. Further, Mr. Schultz should be able to motivate his fellow CEOs with regard to their political donations.

Did he do that? Did he call the mayors? Governors?

Or does he still vote and donate progressive Democrat?

Starbucks is not a ‘window of America’.

Call someone a barista, charge way too much for them to pour fancy coffee, allow anybody to use the facilities does not sound like a sound business plan. It’s worked through a cycle and some other indulgent will come along and make another wokester rich,

Antifundamentalist | July 15, 2022 at 2:45 pm

What is the saying now…Get Woke, Go Broke?

SeymourButz | July 15, 2022 at 2:52 pm

He’s certainly not wrong that Democrats are failing their cities… but I’m very curious to see his voting record

DC’s isn’t a stand-alone location: It’s in Union Station, which in the past few years has been hemorrhaging shops and eating establishments.

Union Station has always had an issue with homeless and panhandlers both inside and outside the building. But in the past few years the homeless and panhandling population has markedly increased and along with it safety and sanitation problems. As well, there’s a tent city parked right outside. In addition, with the Covid lockdowns the tourist crowds dried up and the nearby office buildings mostly went to teleworking. Not everyone has gone back to the office full-time, but even those who have aren’t necessarily going to Union Station for lunch as often as they used to, if at all.

That Starbucks location was also known for giving away free water and ice cups. Finally, the DC minimum wage recently went up the better part of $1 an hour.

“stores will be redesigned for safety and workers will be trained on how to deal with active shooters and use conflict de-escalation.”

Unless they allow workers to carry concealed and actually defend themselves I don’t think this training will be of much use. We are WAAAAAAAAAAY beyond de-escalation.

    henrybowman in reply to gantzm. | July 15, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    Trash can lids hardest hit…

    MajorWood in reply to gantzm. | July 16, 2022 at 10:55 am

    A retired cop and I occupy the local mochahut, and we have our pre-arranged fields of fire from opposite sides. I am a strong proponent of tactical seating.

This looks like the “go broke” phase.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Ironclaw. | July 15, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    To me it looks like the admission of policy being wrong and changes being made.

    I commend them for at least making the effort.

      henrybowman in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | July 15, 2022 at 4:10 pm

      When the “changes being made” include closing PROFITABLE stores, it looks a lot more like an admission that they deliberately put off making needed changes until too late.

        henrybowman in reply to henrybowman. | July 15, 2022 at 4:13 pm

        You’ll notice that they’re not changing any of the stupid policies that caused their decline — they’re closing profitable stores to compensate, and continuing to impose the same stupid policies on the survivors. This is like congratulating a diabetic for undergoing successive amputations instead of controlling his own diet.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | July 15, 2022 at 4:16 pm

        But, are the closures all the fault of the company? No. Societal breakdown in general is the cause. And it’s been going on since long before Starbucks even existed.

          CommoChief in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | July 15, 2022 at 4:41 pm

          Agreed. If you have a store location where you don’t believe your employees and customers are reasonably safe that’s on the local community.

          I personally don’t care for their overpriced coffee or their woke BS but they are doing the right here; closing stores in unsafe areas and allowing local management to set policy on restrooms.

          henrybowman in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | July 15, 2022 at 6:34 pm

          Encouraging it instead of opposing it (in their own stores, by their own policies) makes me unsympathetic to their problems.
          Disclosure: I have a family member who works in one.

      CommoChief in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | July 15, 2022 at 8:01 pm


      I’m with you. They admitted they made a mistake and reversed their bathroom policy to restore the decision to local management. Their CEO is critical of the policies enacted in these blue enclaves that allow vagrants to congregate and criminals to harass, intimidate or harm others with impunity.

      Let’s extend a little grace. The man confessed his error and is closing locations in act of public contrition. We should welcome and applaud those who get mugged by life, rethink their prior positions and begin to set a new course. We don’t have to adopt the guy but we don’t have to spit on him either.

Going woke makes it unsafe and that is what will make them broke

The employees and management of Starbucks voted for it, now deal with your wishes.

“Feeling” safe and being safe. Not the same thing.

So for Portland, the two closed shops were downtown in Antifa Central where no one goes anymore, and the other out by the gateway Transit center where the feral homans congregate and use the train to go from crappy place A to crappy place B.

But, what I found most interesting is my localshop at 3635 se Hawthorne, which was overrun by the local feral human population and closed a few months after the new “crap here” policy was enacted. I wanted to show some friends what it looked like, but apparently Google street view is showing an image from June, 2019. Yes, Google is 3 years out of date, and I don’t think it was an accident. I did manage to start further down and creep back up the street to get a 12/2021 image showing everything boarded over and/or graffitied. What is interesting is that one is somehow selectively toggled between 6/19 and 12/21 views of the street as they advance with the mouse, almost a perfect before and after, even though I am certain that someone wants only the before stuff to be seen by “outsiders.

I know of another long-standing brick and mortar which closed within the last two years, and even some of the grocery store Fauxbucks Kiosks are gone.

Don’t worry – they’re going to convert them to blue state abortion clinics and traffic…. er I mean “transport” 10 year old girls in for “procedures”

Now you have done it. I am going to spend the rest of the morning trying to come up with perfect “Coming Soon: Abortions-R-Us” poster to place on the boarded up front door of the closed Fourbux (our local name).

FWIW, Hawthorne is the street where I am convinced that some property developers are using Antifa to cover their intentions to deliberately devalue property in order to buy it cheap before they turn off their vandal-goons and allow the street to reflourish. Being able to buy a property for $100K less will pay for a lot of spray-paint nd miscreant labor, andtrust me, the amount of tagging done far exceeds the meeger income of your average loser tagger. Someone with deep pockets is underwriting it. Kind of odd that two adjacent, already re-developed streets, see no graffiti in comparison. Only properties suitable for redevelopment are hit. Similarly, the homeless camps were selectively moved around in order to run places out of business as well. Lets just call it malicious incompetence.