Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz gave a bleak summary of the reasons why the company was shutting down 16 stores, and he specifically blamed local governments for their lack of law enforcement and treatment for mental illness.
The comments were made at an internal meeting and leaked to the public.
Schultz said that the stores were not unprofitable but that they were shut down because of safety concerns among the employees.
“It has shocked me that one of the primary concerns that our retail partners have is their own personal safety,” he said on the leaked video. “America has become unsafe.”
Schultz went on to specifically blame local state and city government leaders for abdicating their responsibilities to punish crime and to treat the mentally ill.
"Starbucks is a window into America, we have stores in every community, and we are facing things in which the stores were not built for and so we’re listening to our people and closing stores," Schultz continued.
The 16 stores were located in major cities including Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Two of the shops were among those that recently unionized, causing some workers to accuse the company of union-busting. Starbucks denies the allegations.
Schultz added in the leaked video that more closings were expected.
"This is just the beginning, there are going to be many more," he concluded.
Schultz had previously said in June that the company was considering ending its policy of allowing the general public to use its restrooms over security concerns.
Some on social media noted that the cities where the stores were closing were mostly run by Democrats.
The company's stock is 33% down since the beginning of the year, following a broader market downturn.
Here's more about the Starbucks shutdown:
Starbucks Closing 16 Stores In Major Cities Due To Safety Concerns www.youtube.com