Starbucks Shuttering Six L.A. Stores Over Soaring Crime Complaints

Starbucks is closing the shops due to “challenging incidents” a month after it reconsidered opening bathrooms to everyone on the street
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Coffee empire Starbucks is planning to close down six of its popular Los Angeles stores, claiming that a rash of what the company is calling “challenging incidents” at those locations has made it too costly to continue doing business there.

The caffein corp, which last month revisited its wildly popular 2018 decision to open all of its bathrooms to anyone in the general public who might feel like dropping in—will be shuttering the following shops by the end of the month, KTLA reports:

  • 1st and Los Angeles (Inside the Doubletree hotel)
  • 2nd and San Pedro
  • Hollywood and Vine
  • Hollywood and Western
  • Ocean Front Walk (Santa Monica Pier)
  • Santa Monica and Westmount

A rep for Starbucks confirmed the shutdowns and provided the station with a letter from Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of Starbucks U.S. operations, to employees. The letter stated that the company is prioritizing “creating a safe, welcoming, and kind third place.”

For the uninitiated, “third place” is a Starbucks branding term that the company thought very, very stupid people would come to absorb as meaning “a welcoming place between home and work where people can feel a sense of community over coffee.”

But instead of the open-armed “community” gathering places the literal bean-counters had half-assedly envisioned, they apparently found places where they just could not hang.

The first order of business on the Starbucks veeps’ letter is:

  • Robust safety trainings for all partners, like how to de-escalate situations, active shooter training, mental health first aid trainings, and our upcoming store trainings in August.

So, would-be baristas who want to learn just the exact right amount of heat the milk pitcher should be sending into your fingers before you turn off the steam, as well as how to disarm a human with a handgun who is having a bad day, the line starts here!

Starbucks didn’t specifically call out L.A.’s near-historic recent crime stats—including Tuesday’s new study revealing that homicides are now at a 15-year high—but it assures employees, “We read every incident report you file—it’s a lot.”

Starbucks did tell the Seattle Times on Monday (via Patch) that the decision to close the stores was based on a proliferation of complaints lodged at each store, as well as how successful the stores were at lowering those complaint rates. Crime complaints included drug use, stealing and attacks.

In all, 16 stores will close across the U.S. by July 31.


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