Starbucks To Close All Company-Owned Stores on May 29 for Racial-Bias Education Day

Starbucks said on Tuesday it would close more than 8,000 of its stores in the United States on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for nearly 175,000 employees.

The move comes after two African American men were arrested after asking to use the restroom in the shop. A Starbucks employee refused their request, because the men had not bought anything. The men sat down and were asked to leave, and an employee eventually called the police. The prosecutor’s office in Philadelphia, PA later reviewed the case and declined to pursue charges against the two men because of “a lack of evidence that a crime was committed,” according to a spokesman.

“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,” Kevin R. Johnson, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the training.

STARBUCKSKenyatta Johnson, a Philadelphia city councilman, outside the Starbucks store in the city where two black men were arrested last week. Credit Mark Makela/Reuters

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