Social Justice Doesn’t Help Starbucks

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Starbucks is not doing well and their national social justice crusade hasn’t helped them succeed.

Starbucks is going down right after imposing “implicit bias” training on all Starbucks employees. Conservatives should be glad. A company that can’t stand up for itself doesn’t deserve to succeed.

While people admitted that closing all the stores for the day wasn’t profitable, obviously the financial problems must have been developing from before then. Perhaps the big act of corporate virtue signaling was meant to distract people from the company’s real problems.

The Washington Times reports, “Starbucks burned by social-justice appeasement as growth stalls, stock plunges.

Starbucks may have appeased progressives with its social-justice workshops and open-bathroom policy, but such moves have failed to caffeinate the company’s bottom line.

The coffee giant’s stock took a tumble Wednesday after CEO Kevin Johnson announced that Starbucks would close 150 company-owned stores next year instead of the expected 50, with an emphasis on underperforming shops in densely populated urban areas, and lowered growth projections.

Mr. Johnson acknowledged that the decision to shut down 8,000 U.S. stores on May 29 for anti-bias training, driven by the high-profile arrests of two black men in Philadelphia, played a role in the company’s sluggish second-quarter performance.

“In this current quarter, certainly we had an unplanned initiative driven out of the Philadelphia incident, we closed all our stores for training, we had to delay some marketing, but none of that is an excuse,” Mr. Johnson told CNBC. “The fact is the way I think about a growth company at scale is we’ve got to deliver consistent growth, month after month, quarter after quarter, and year after year. And we have not done that.”

In response, Starbucks announced steps to streamline the company and increase its agility by “accelerating product innovation,” “leveraging the growing tea and refreshment category,” and responding to trends toward “health and wellness.”

The market wasn’t impressed. Starbucks shares fell Wednesday by 10 percent, hitting their lowest point in 52 weeks, while Morgan Stanley downgraded the company’s investment rating, citing flat growth in China and the decision to lower third-quarter U.S. growth projections from 3 to 1 percent.

Meanwhile, critics of the company-wide diversity workshops argued that Starbucks sent the wrong signal by bowing to social-justice protesters instead of tending to its business model.

Read the full story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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