DURBAN - Starbucks stores in South Africa will be doing racial bias training for their staff after a racial incident in the US made international headlines.
The incident involved two African American men who were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks. The men were trying to use the store's bathroom without purchasing anything.
This act sparked boycott threats after video footage of the incident became viral. Below is a clip of the incident:
Now 8 000 Starbucks stores will be closed and 175 000 people will receive racial-bias training in May.
Fareed Mohammed, the Divisional PR and Communications Manager for Taste Holdings said that only the stores in the United States will be closing down because the incident happened there.
Mohammed said that they are not sure about the training and what it will entail for staff because it is still being developed.
The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, responded to the incident by saying that Starbucks was going to put things right.
Johnson added that closing their stores for racial-bias training is just a step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of their company and partnerships with the local communities.
He also said that the Starbucks store manager had been wrong to call the police.
The international coffee company and coffeehouse chain made about $4,7 billion in revenue over the latest quarter.
Time Magazine estimates that the coffee company will lose about $2,2 million for every hour that they closed.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE