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Starbucks stands to lose as much as $14M in sales during its closure for racial-bias training

A new Technomic analysis details the impact of the chain’s response to the recent arrests at one of its units.

Starbucks stands to lose $14 million when it closes more than 8,000 units on the afternoon of May 29 for its much-publicized racial-bias training.

On similar days, the coffee chain would typically have daily total sales of $35 million across its 8,200 company-owned locations during its 14 hours of operation, according to just-released data from the Transaction Insightsplatform of Restaurant Business’ research sister, Technomic. On the day of the training, even with the hit from the afternoon closure, Starbucks will still see $21 million in sales, according to Transaction Insights.

“While the company continues to try and expand its reach into the lunch and dinner dayparts, the majority of their weekday customer traffic and sales still take place before noon, making even a complete afternoon closure for training markedly less impactful on their bottom line,” the Technomic analysis found.

Starbucks had total sales of more than $12 billion in 2017, according to Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report.

The systemwide training comes after video of two African-American men being arrested for allegedly trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks went viral. The men, who were sitting in the coffee shop but hadn’t ordered anything, settled Wednesday with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 and the promise that the city will launch a program for young entrepreneurs.

Starbucks hasn’t noticed any loss of sales since the arrests, CEO Kevin Johnson said during the chain’s Q2 earnings call last week. “The one thing I do know for sure is that our approach to this will pay long-term dividends for Starbucks,” Johnson said.

The training on May 29 will focus on implicit bias, conscious inclusion and discrimination prevention, the company said. The curriculum will be shared with other companies, Starbucks officials said.

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