(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) will close 8,000 company-owned U.S. cafes for the afternoon on May 29 to train nearly 175,000 on how to prevent racial discrimination in its stores.
The announcement from world’s biggest coffee company comes as it tries to cool tensions after the arrest of two black men at one of its Philadelphia cafes last week sparked accusations of racial profiling at the chain.
Protesters have called for a boycott of the company.
“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” said Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson, who has apologized for the “reprehensible” arrests of the two men and taken responsibility for the incident.
Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker