Starbucks is following through on its promise to close more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the US for racial bias and diversity training on Tuesday afternoon. Starbucks officials say training is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and will be geared toward preventing to discrimination in stores.
Most of Starbucks' 7,000 licensed stores, including those operated by hotels, grocery stores and airports, should be open.
But one Australian expert says the training - which will include a talk by the rapper Common - is unlikely to work.
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Starbucks co-founder Howard Schultz will appear in a video to address employees, as well as other top executives such as chief executive Kevin Johnson.
Each store will get a tool kid to help guide the trainings, the company explained.
The arrests sparked outrage across the country after a customer posted video of the men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who appeared to be cooperative as police officers took them into custody. Since, according to the announcement, Starbucks locations will close only for part of the afternoon, MarketWatch has calculated that locations could lose about 20% of their daily revenue, or $12 million. One of them asked to go to the bathroom but was denied access.
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Soon after, Starbucks announced a policy change, welcoming anyone to sit in its cafes or use its restrooms, even if they don't buy anything. The last time the company did something similar was in 2008, when the struggling chain shut down all United States locations to retrain employees on improving the "Starbucks Experience" by boosting technical abilities and customer service - a decision that cost the chain $6 million.
Ifill and McGhee, who both served as unpaid advisers, told reporters on a media call on Thursday that they think Starbucks' plan is ambitious. The company has listed this week's updated hours of operation for all locations on its website. The new policy comes after the arrests of the two black men in Philadelphia.
"On the whole, we are very different than Starbucks", he said. The curriculum was developed through collaboration with representatives from the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Anti-Defamation League and other organizations.
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She wouldn't give too much more away about the training, but said Perception's workshops typically encouraged participants to think about how they were "socialised" to think about certain groups, and to challenge that thinking.