Starbucks Will Permanently Close 16 of Its Locations Due to Safety Concerns

NBC News

For most of us, Starbucks is a place to get coffee. Many of us have a go-to beverage, and if you have a Starbucks that you frequent often, you might know the baristas by name, and they might already know your order before you say a word.

Some Starbucks locations unfortunately appear to be dealing with so many safety concerns that the coffee chain has made a startling decision. They will be permanently closing 16 Starbucks locations in cities including Los Angeles, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

In a letter to Starbucks’ partners, Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of U.S. operations, explained that some of their employees are “seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities – personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more. With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file – it’s a lot.” They added, “we cannot serve as partners if we don’t first feel safe at work.”

In order to make sure their partners feel safe, the letter explains that they will do things like provide safety training and mental health support. In addition, the safety measures include “modifying operations, closing a restroom, or even closing a store permanently.”

Watch the video below for more about why these stores are closing and why other retail chains have also considered closing stores and modifying store hours.

A spokesperson for Starbucks told CNN Business, “After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate.”

Employees who currently work at Starbucks locations that will be closing will be moved to nearby Starbucks locations that are remaining open.

Have you ever felt unsafe inside Starbucks? Does it surprise you that Starbucks would close stores due to safety issues?