Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: ‘America has become unsafe’ … store closures ‘just the beginning’

(Video Credit: Yahoo! Finance)

Interim Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is warning that many more stores are going to close because “America has become unsafe,” following the closure of 16 stores nationwide as he blamed woke city leaders for “abdicating their responsibility” to fight crime.

We are beginning to close stores,” because of safety issues, Schultz stated in a leaked video posted to Twitter last week.

“Starbucks is a window into America, we have stores in every community… we are facing things in which the stores were not built for. We’re listening to our people and closing stores, and this is just the beginning. There are going be many more,” he stated.

“I don’t have to spend too much time on what’s going on in the country and how America has become unsafe, but you all read the press release the last couple of days about the fact that we are beginning to close stores that are not unprofitable,” Schultz continued.

He added, “It has shocked me that one of the primary concerns that our retail partners have is their own personal safety. And then we heard the stories about what happens in our bathrooms, the issues with mental illness, homelessness, and crime.”

CNN is reporting that Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, both senior vice presidents of US operations for Starbucks also wrote in a letter that workers 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,” and added that “with stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too.”

Cities set to see closures include Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, and DC where crime rates have skyrocketed due to woke policies including police cuts.

The company is offering active shooter training, along with mental health benefits, access to abortion care, streamlined shifts, and clarified store policies.

If a store cannot create what is deemed to be a safe environment, the company will shutter it permanently. Employees will be moved to neighboring stores.

Starbucks is also considering closing restrooms to the public to fend off drug users and the homeless.

All of this comes as the leftist company is facing unionization of its stores according to CNN. As of June 24, over 130 Starbucks stores with more than 3,400 employees have had their unions certified by the National Labor Relations Board or NLRB. The board has also certified decisions against unionization at 15 separate locations. Dozens of stores are holding elections.

Union organizers are charging that store closures are a way to intimidate workers.

“We need to reinvent Starbucks for the future,” Schultz wrote in an open letter, asserting that the company must “radically” improve employee experiences. He added that based on feedback from employees, the company will strive to create “safety, welcoming, and kindness for our stores.”

“Our local, regional, and national leaders have been working with humility, deep care, and urgency to create the kind of store environment that partners and customers expect of Starbucks,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in June. “Our goal is to ensure that every partner is supported in their individual situation and we have immediate opportunities available in the market.”

Over the past fiscal year, Starbucks has closed 424 of its US stores. That’s roughly 5 percent of them. They have opened 449 new locations during that same time period. There are approximately 9,000 Starbucks across the United States, according to CNN.

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