Starbucks Is Shutting Down Stores In Democrat Controlled Cities

( In mid-July, Starbucks announced that it was closing some of its stores in Democrat-controlled cities due to concerns over employee safety. And apparently, the 16 stores the company originally said it was closing is just the beginning.

Howard Schultz, the interim CEO of Starbucks, announced via a video he posted to Twitter that:

“We are beginning to close stores. This is just the beginning. There are going to be many more.”

The stores that the coffee company is closing include in liberal cities such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, Oregon. All of the stores are planned to be shuttered by the end of the month.

In the wake of Schultz’s announcement Denise Nelson and Debbie Stroud, who both serve as senior vice presidents of U.S. operations for Starbucks, wrote an open letter that outlined some of the efforts the company was taking to make their stores safer.

In the letter, they wrote:

“[Workers are] 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 … With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too.”

Schultz’s video said that these efforts Starbucks is taking to make their workers feel safer could eventually result in the company closing many more stores.

Right now, Starbucks is offering their employees training for active shooters, according to the letter. The company is also offering their employees access to care for abortion as well as other benefits surrounding mental health, and they’re also clarifying policies around their stores and shifts employees work.

The letter said that if the company determines that it ultimately isn’t able to provide a safe environment at any of its stores, they will close them. If that happens, Starbucks will offer to move the employees from that store to another store close by.

According to a Starbucks spokesperson, Schultz recorded his video while they were in a meeting discussing the company’s safety efforts. In it, he said:

“One of the primary concerns that our retail partners have is their own personal safety.”

It’s also possible, he said, that Starbucks will close their restrooms to public use, which would overturn a policy the company instated back in 2018.

Schultz is focusing on safety for the company as they are also facing a growing drive by employees to unionize. This month, he wrote an open letter that Starbucks had to “radically” improve the experiences employees have. He said that the company will work to create “safety, welcoming and kindness for our stores,” based on feedback they have gotten from their employees.

Schultz assumed the position as interim CEO of Starbucks back in April. It’s the third time he is serving in the role for the company.

He is being tasked with revitalizing the company at a time when unionization efforts have been growing at its stores throughout the country.