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Starbucks to shut all 8,000 US stores for "racial bias training"

City A.M. Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Starbucks to shut all 8,000 US stores for "racial bias training"Starbucks will close its 8,000 US stores for an afternoon next month to carry out "racial-bias" training for its staff. 

It follows an incident last week where two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia after staff accused them of trespassing, prompting thousands to accuse the coffee conglomerate of racial discrimination. 

Smartphone footage of the altercation showed the men being led away by police as lookers-on protested that they had done nothing wrong. 

A massive online backlash ensued, as #BoycottStarbucks started trending on Twitter. 

*Read more*: Starbucks' trial "latte levy" starts in the City today

In response to the incident, Starbucks apologised and in a statement released on Tuesday evening explained that it would be carrying out "racial bias training" for its 175,000 employees. 

The training will mean all Starbucks stores in the US will close for an afternoon on 29 May. 
"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,” said Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson.

"While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities."

The training will be designed by "nationally recognised experts" and will centre around preventing other discriminatory incidents taking place. 

The company also begun a review of its training and practices earlier this week. 

Once completed, Starbucks has said it will share the education materials with other companies for use with their employees and leadership. 
Credit: CBS 2 Chicago - Published < > Embed
News video: Starbucks To Close 8,000 Stores For Racial Bias Training

Starbucks To Close 8,000 Stores For Racial Bias Training 00:49

After two African American men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia while waiting for a friend to show up, the company is planning to close all its stores on May 29 for racial bias training. CBS 2's Audrina Bigos reports.

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