Starbucks ran headlong into the great divide of the US.
The over-priced coffee shop came out over the weekend saying that it would allow people to use its spaces — including restrooms — without making a purchase.
This policy change was spurred by Starbucks “partners” calling police in Philadelphia last month on two black men sitting in a shop waiting on a friend.
The majority of customers in Starbucks are under 35-years old and that’s where it ran into trouble by trying to placate this base by saying it would open up its stores to everyone. In NYC this would include the homeless and mentally deficient.
The blowback on social media was fast and furious as people posted protests to the policy change. It’s bad enough to pay upwards of $3 for a coffee followed by three adjectives, but to then have to worry about safety had Twitter going nuts.
Well, come Monday, Starbucks had to walk back this “space race” by saying it wants its outlets to be safe for all customers and that it would draw the line somewhere between paying customers and others using its stores.
This is what happens when a retailer attempts to impose social change on its customers, which many may believe in, but some do not.
Personally, if I was charging these prices for coffee and getting away with it, there is no way I would do anything to get my customers perturb.
This issue goes back to the post I did recently on Starbucks and Amazon not wishing to pay additional corporate tax to the city of Seattle to fight homelessness in the area where both have their headquarters.
I called those moves hypocrisy and I can say with all honesty that Starbucks should focus on returning value to its shareholders and not be so concern about changing the world because they already have.
Who else could get away with charging these prices for something I can buy from a street cart in Midtown Manhattan right outside one of its outlets for 50 cents in a traditional blue and white cup.