Starbucks is permanently closing 16 locations around the US by the end of July, The Wall Street Journal first reported.
“After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate, to open new locations with safer conditions,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Insider. The incidents that workers have reported involve customers and other members of the public using drugs in the stores.
The company said that the closures are to make Starbucks locations safer for customers and employees, reiterating the message in a letter that Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, the senior VPs of US operations at Starbucks, sent to employees on July 11. The company also gives local leaders the authority to close bathrooms, reduce seating, and take other measures to keep conditions safe for employees.
“We look forward to continuing to serve these local communities and encourage our customers to visit us at our other stores in these areas, which can be found on the Starbucks App or Starbucks Store Locator,” the spokesperson said.