Starbucks still wants to be gathering place: chairman

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Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz says the company still aspires to be a place where everyone feels welcome. | AP file photo

NEW YORK — Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz says the company still aspires to be a place where everyone feels welcome.

As the company prepares to close more than 8,000 stores Tuesday afternoon for anti-bias training, he said in a letter to customers that sometimes the company falls short.

The training comes after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia store while waiting for a business associate, a situation the company has said should not have happened.

Schultz said the trainings will let employees share life experiences and reflect on society’s biases as well as talk about creating public spaces where everyone feels like they belong.

He says the conversation will continue and become part of how Starbucks trains its employees.

Starbucks will close more than 8,000 stores nationwide Tuesday to conduct anti-bias training, the next of many steps the company is taking to try to restore its tarnished image as a hangout where all are welcome.

Tuesday’s four-hour session will give its 175,000 workers a primer on the history of civil rights from the 1960s to present day. Workers will also view a short documentary film.


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