Company-owned retail stores, as well as corporate offices, will close for the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29 for “partners” to undergo training created to “address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion”, and deal with discrimination issues, the news release confirms.
More than 8,000 stores will be closed and training will be provided to almost 175,000 employees and incorporated into company training going forward, according to Starbucks.
The company will train almost 175,000 employees across the country, Starbucks said.
The two men were arrested for trespassing after a store manager called the police to report that they were sitting in the store without placing an order.
Starbucks plans to make its educational materials developed for the training available to other companies and its franchisees.
“In addition to our own review, we will work with outside experts and community leaders understand and adopt best practices, including unconscious bias training”, the company said.
“They did a service that they were called to do”, he said.
Michelle Saahene, who said she witnessed the incident, told NBC News on Sunday that the men were not permitted to use the bathroom because they had not purchased anything.
Starbucks shares rose 40 cents, or about 0.7 per cent, to close at $59.83 USA on Nasdaq.
Philadelphia police have released a recording of the call from the Starbucks employee that led to the arrest of two black men.
Starbucks executives including CEO Kevin Johnson have been in Philadelphia to speak with the two men and figure out the company’s next steps.
“Please know that we take this video and the commentary around it very seriously, and are working closely with the team to understand more”, said a spokesperson. The men are arrested after refusing to leave, but offer no resistance to the arrest. Their lawyer said they had been waiting for a friend to meet them there.
But instead the hashtag #racetogether was hijacked on social media and the campaign became the subject of widespread criticism.
After detailing the department’s implicit bias training, the commissioner did say that the incident reinforced the need for the department to expand its body camera program, as the responding officers did not have body cameras on them.