Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Democratic mayors and city councils have “abdicated their responsibility” in fighting crime and addressing mental illness, which has forced his company to shutter stores due to fears over employee safety.
Schultz made the comments in leaked video that was posted to Twitter over the weekend by Ari Hoffman of KVI-AM talk radio based in Seattle.
Last week, Starbucks announced it was closing 16 restaurants in various cities across the country due to what the company said was employee complaints of drug use and violent crime on the premises.
Schultz said he believes the Seattle-based coffee chain will have to close “many more” locations.
“This is just the beginning,” said the interim chief executive, who came back to run the company earlier this year following the retirement of his predecessor, Kevin Johnson.
“There are gonna be many more [store closures].”
The leaked video of Schultz shows him addressing Starbucks employees. He told them that the company was “beginning to close stores that are not unprofitable.”
Schultz said he was “shocked” to hear from employees that “one of the primary concerns that our retail partners [baristas] have is their own personal safety.”