Starbucks Closing 16 Locations Over ‘Safety Concerns’ – Opinion

Starbucks is closing 16 locations in cities around the nation after the coffee giant’s employees reported a string of “personal safety” incidents, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Translation: Our workers are afraid to show up at these locations because crime is increasing rapidly.

Six stores will be closed in Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and two more in Portland by July 31st. What are the commonalities of all these locations? They’re in deep-blue areas with soft-on-crime district attorneys and past support of the “defund the police” movement. How’d that work out for you?

During outreach sessions workers shared their concerns with the company. Debbie Stroud (Senior Vice President) and Denise Nelson (Senior Vice President) detailed their learnings in Monday’s letter to employees.

You’re also 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. These challenges are sometimes present in stores located across thousands of American communities. We read every incident report you file – it’s a lot.

It certainly is “a lot.” The company is also reversing course on its bathroom rules which, in a 2018 woke paroxysm, they decided to let anyone use, regardless of whether the person was a customer or not. It was a decision that raised obvious safety issues, which led to many problems. Store managers can now lock the bathroom doors of their stores and limit customers if they feel unsafe.

The workers will be able now to restrict seating and reduce operations. They can also change the layout of stores. Starbucks said that they will also provide active-shooter support and conflict-de-escalation strategies.

Starbucks isn’t the only company facing safety and violence issues. A string of pre-dawn shootings at six 7-11 stores resulted in three deaths and two injuries, according to a terrible story from Southern California. It’s not clear if all the crimes are connected, but police are seeking the same lone gunman in at least three instances. It happened July 11, 7/11, on the anniversary day of the chain. “There’s no way it can be a coincidence of it being 7-Eleven, July 11,” said Officer Ryan Railsback, a spokesperson for the Riverside Police Department.

Call me crazy, but I’m guessing when the perp is finally arrested, he will be a violent felon on parole with a lengthy rap sheet.

Walgreen’s, meanwhile, has also been the victim of increased crime and has shuttered dozens of stores in the San Francisco area over the last two years. Organized retail theft was a crime committed by criminal gangs who enter a store to steal whatever they desire. The practice plagued inner cities where both police and progressive district attorneys were unable or unwilling not to take action. (S.F. (S.F. We’ll see how his replacement works out.)

It’s sad to see these businesses under such an onslaught, and it’s a troubling sign of where our country is headed. The WSJ

Nicky DeClerico (65-year-old Philadelphian) said he had to cut down his Starbucks trips after the Covid-19 pandemic. According to him, the increased crime in Philadelphia has caused him to be reluctant about returning to Starbucks.

Mr. DeClerico said he didn’t blame Starbucks employees for not wanting to work in urban stores, where he said thinly staffed locations could feel scary for workers. “If you have crime, nothing can survive,” he said.

The Defund the Police movement, “progressive” district attorneys, and feckless politicians have led to the massive rise in crime in the last two years. It’s time we get back to reality and deal with crime with actual penalties, not slaps on the wrist.

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