Your local Starbucks store may be closing by the end of the month.
Starbucks announced this week that they will be permanently closing five Seattle Starbucks stores by the end of July. The closures aren’t limited to Seattle; a total of 16 U.S. Starbucks stores will close this month. According to The Seattle Times, a spokesperson for Starbucks cited crime-related complaints and safety concerns as the reasoning behind the closures.
Read on for all the important information on these Seattle Starbucks stores closing.
The location of the five Seattle stores slated to close by July 31st are as follows:
- 2300 S. Jackson St.
- 6417 Roosevelt Way N.E.
- 1600 E. Olive Way
- 505 Fifth Ave. S.
- 400 Pine St.
There is also a Starbucks store in Everett, WA that will be closed at the end of the month. A total of 16 “high-incident” Starbucks stores are being closed across the U.S. A spokesperson for Starbucks said that the decision was made after consulting with store leaders about the number of crime-related incidents at their stores.
Two of the Seattle Starbucks stores have unionized: the E. Olive Way location and the Fifth Ave S. location. Starbucks is required by labor law to negotiate with unionized workers who wish to keep their store open. A Starbucks employee at one of those locations told The Seattle Times it seems like “a losing battle” and that she is concerned about losing her union protections.
The Seattle Times also reported that employees of the closing stores can choose to be reassigned to neighboring locations. If employees of the two closing unionized stores are reassigned to stores that are also unionized, they will continue to receive union representation.
The senior vice presidents for U.S. operations, Debbie Stroud and Denise Nielsen, wrote in a memo to Starbucks employees this week that the challenges “communities” have been facing include “personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more.” One of the solutions they list is the permanent closure of stores, “where safety… is no longer possible, always doing so with the utmost respect for our customers and the community and transferring partners to nearby stores if we close.”
There will still be over 100 Starbucks stores remaining in Seattle, so don’t worry too much about getting your Starbucks fix. Of course, Seattle is well-known for its thriving coffee scene so if your neighborhood Starbucks is closing, perhaps you’ll discover a friendly local cafe to try out instead.