This Iconic Coffee Chain Will Face "Many More" Closures, CEO Says in Leaked Video
The executive confirmed that recent closures are "just the beginning."
Coffee drinkers know how crucial a morning caffeine fix can be, and those of us who rely on a jolt to get our day started usually have a favorite coffee shop that we frequent. But now, one iconic coffee chain has inadvertently revealed that it will be closing additional stores, after already announcing impending closures earlier this month. Read on to find out which chain will be shuttering locations, and why the company's CEO said it's taking action.
Multiple chains have announced closures this summer.
Coffee chains are sadly not the only stores saying goodbye in 2022. This week, the discount grocery store Lidl confirmed it would be closing locations on July 31. Two stores, one in Danville, Virginia, and another in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, will be shut down, having been dubbed "underperforming" within Lidl's network, a spokesperson told Best Life.
Drugstore chain CVS recently announced closures in Texas and Georgia this month, having already shuttered locations in a number of states this year, including California, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Maryland, New York, and Michigan.
Many of us rely on these chains for groceries and prescriptions, but those who can't go without a hot cup of coffee may be more disheartened to learn about the latest string of closures.
Some of these omnipresent coffee shops may be disappearing.
The next time you have a hankering for a Venti Caramel Macchiato, you'll want to make sure that your local Starbucks store is still in operation. In leaked video footage posted on Twitter on July 13, Interim Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stated that the company would be closing "many more" stores.
This news comes after the company announced that 16 Starbucks locations would be closing by July 31, according to reporting by The Wall Street Journal. Locations on the chopping block include six in Los Angeles, six in Seattle, two in Portland, Oregon, and one location each in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Schultz said executives are acting based on employee feedback.
Safety concerns were cited as the primary reason for the first round of closures, and Schultz alluded to the fact that these concerns will lead to more stores being shut down. "Starbucks is a window into America," Schultz said in the video, where he appeared to be addressing employees. "We have stores in every community, and we are facing things in which the stores were not built for."
Employees have expressed worries about mental illness, homelessness, and overall crime during "co-creation sessions," Schultz stated, prompting executives to take action—even though the stores remain profitable. "We're listening to our people and closing stores, and this is just the beginning," he added. "There are going to be many more."
A previous announcement addressed safety concerns.
In a July 11 message to U.S. Starbucks employees, Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelsen, senior vice presidents of U.S. operations for Starbucks, stressed the importance of "creating a safe, welcoming, and kind third place," meaning a space between home and work.
"Because simply put, we cannot serve as partners if we don't first feel safe at work," the pair wrote.
In the letter, Stroud and Nelsen said that the company would close stores if safety "is no longer possible," but preemptive measures would include "modifying operations" or "closing a restroom."
In the leaked video, Schultz also expressed concerns about "what happens in our bathrooms," which have been open to the public since 2018, CNN reported. Last month, Schultz discussed reversing the policy due to the "growing mental health problem" and staff safety concerns.
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Some have accused Starbucks of ulterior motives.
Schultz did not confirm which areas the latest round of closures would affect, nor when these closures would take place. But despite the CEO's comments about safety, Starbucks union organizers believe there are different motivations behind the closures, according to reporting by Insider. Of the 16 closing locations, two had just voted to unionize, and one had planned to vote on the issue in August, Insider reported, citing In These Times, a pro-labor publication.
"Every decision Starbucks makes must be viewed through the lens of the company's unprecedented and virulent union-busting campaign," Starbucks Workers United said in a statement provided to the outlet. Per Insider, Starbucks denied these allegations.