Starbucks will close for bias training due to viral video — leaving $16.7m in the coffee pot 

After a video of racial discrimination at a Starbucks was released last week, Starbucks moved quickly to attempt to restore its inclusive image.


April 18, 2018

After a video of police unjustifiably removing 2 black men from a Starbucks went viral last week, CEO Kevin Johnson declared all of the company’s American stores will close on the afternoon of May 29 for “racial-bias education” training.

This social media firestorm brewed faster than a Venti:

  • Thurs. 4/12: Video of forced removal posted 
  • Fri. 4/13: Starbucks responds to #boycottstarbucks 
  • Sat. 4/14: Starbucks posts apology on Twitter
  • Mon. 4/16: Starbucks CEO meets with victims and mayor
  • Tues. 4/17: Starbucks announces nationwide racial bias training 

It’s a testament to the power of accountability on social media

To recap, a 45-second video caused the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to drop what he was doing, fly across the country to do damage control, and order a complete shutdown of operations, all in a matter of days.

Now, Starbucks will pay a steep price to restore its image — based on 2017 revenue, closing their 8,222 company stores for an afternoon will cost them over $16.7m — on top of the cost of training 175k employees in racial-bias prevention.

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