Starbucks' training shutdown could cost it just US$16.7M

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The coffee chain on Tuesday announced it would close more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the late May to conduct racial-bias training.

The announcement from world's biggest coffee company comes as it tries to cool tensions after the Philadelphia incident last week sparked accusations of racial profiling at the chain, which is the subject of a boycott campaign on social media.

On May 29, over 175,000 employees across the United States will undergo racial bias education in order to "prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome".

These experts would also be responsible for judging the training's effectiveness.

The stores will be shuttered on the afternoon of May 29, the company said in a press release, and its corporate offices will also be closed at that time.

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@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything. On April 12, 2018, Philadelphia Police had received a phone call from a Starbucks employee about two black men who were "trespassing".

Dr. Aswin Subanthore, ENODO Global's director of analysis in South Asia, said on Twitter that Starbucks is "horribly mistaken" if the company thinks it can "use just one day to train its employees on racial bias". After a few minutes, officers handcuff the men and lead them outside as other customers say they weren't doing anything wrong. In addition, Sherrilyn Ifill, who is the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Jonathan Greenblatt, who is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League will help with the development of the training.

However U.S. race relations have proven more challenging, even for a company that touts its diverse workforce - minorities account for 18 percent of Starbucks executives with the title of senior vice president or higher and 43 percent of employees overall.

Starbucks-licensed outlets, such as those found in colleges or supermarkets, or inside other retail outlets, are not included among the 8,000-plus company-owned stores confirmed to be closing in Starbucks' announcement, and not required to close.

A white manager at the location called 911 on the two men who hadn't ordered anything because they were waiting for their third friend to arrive.