TORONTO — Starbucks will close all its Canadian company-operated stores and offices for an afternoon next month to provide training about creating a “culture of warmth and belonging.”
The announcement comes nearly a month after the Seattle-based company publicly apologized for the arrest of two black men who had been refused permission to use the washroom of a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia.
A Philadelphia police spokesman said Starbucks employees called 911 after the men refused to leave.
The company ordered more than 8,000 U.S. Starbucks stores closed on the afternoon of May 29 so that nearly 175,000 employees can receive training on unconscious bias, but said at the time it had not decided whether to follow suit in Canada.
Starbucks Canada president Michael Conway sent a memo on Friday that schedules store closures for part of the afternoon on June 11 for a training session to address implicit bias.
The memo says Starbucks believes “everyone deserves to be treated with respect” and that its employees have the support and clarity they need to create a culture of warmth.
The Canadian Press