Starbucks Doubles Down on Military Hiring After Boycott Threats

By Publications Checkout
Starbucks Doubles Down on Military Hiring After Boycott Threats

Starbucks, after facing a backlash for promising to hire refugees, plans to employ more US military veterans.

The coffee retailer will hire 25,000 veterans and their spouses by 2025, it said on Wednesday. Starbucks already has brought on 10,000 of them, ahead of a previously set goal. As part of its global expansion, more than 240,000 new jobs will be created globally over the next five years.

"We are still in the early stages of growth as we strive to meet our highest growth aspirations for the company," said Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, who is stepping down from the role next month to focus on the company’s premium Reserve brand.

The chain drew boycott threats earlier this year after saying it would hire 10,000 refugees globally -- a response to President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on travelers from certain nations. It’s also facing a sales slowdown. In January, the company cut its annual revenue forecast for this year, citing a challenging environment amid a broader industry slump.

In support of military communities, the chain also said it’s opening 100 more locations near major U.S. bases in the next five years. The announcements may appease some customers who boycotted the company after it pledged to hire refugees and provide legal counsel to employees affected by Trump’s plan.

China Expansion

Starbucks’ global expansion -- 12,000 new stores over the next five years -- includes a focus on China, where it has more than 2,600 locations. Growth there will accelerate in the future, Starbucks said.

In the U.S., Starbucks is planning for 3,400 new locations by fiscal 2021, or about 680 stores a year, on average. The chain opened 651 domestic cafes last year.

The company also announced details to bring customers in beyond the morning hours. It will begin selling a new line of grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, dubbed “Mercato,” in Chicago next month. Starbucks also is trying to lure more diners with a gluten-free breakfast sandwich and vegan bagel.

News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland