Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced yesterday that Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) would no longer allow customers to carry guns in the company’s coffee shops. Thursday’s editions of major newspapers across the United States will feature an advertisement from Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) on the change in policy. The USA Today had some interesting comments from the executive.
According to Schultz, Starbucks will have a verbal policy of refusing service to those carrying weapons. That policy will not, however, be enforced by anyone in Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) outlets. Employees will not be asked to confront members of the public carrying guns.
The ban marks a big change at Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX). At the height of the gun control battle, the coffee shop was celebrated for allowing gun enthusiasts to carry visible weapons in Starbucks stores. The reversal of this policy is not a blow for gun enthusiasts, but it does demonstrate a shift in mood in the wake of recent tragedies.
Gun control battle
Gun control has become an important political issue again this week after months if senescence. The shooting dead of 13 people at a Navy Yard in Washington D.C. on Monday has once again raised the issue of control after a short-lived dormancy.
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz insists that the move is not the result of short-lived political pressures stemming from that shooting. Schultz says that his company thought about postponing the gun ban announcement in the wake of Monday’s tragedy. The company decided to push ahead with the announcement anyway.
The Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) represents the kind of compromise that exists in places where drugs are decriminalized. Customers at the coffee shop will not be asked to leave or remove their weapons, but they are being asked politely in advance not to bring them to Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) stores.
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is a fan of getting involved in social issues. The strategy has its upsides and downsides, but will almost inevitably end up with a situation like this one. Starbucks ran into a social issue where there was no obvious principled side to take. The company floundered and introduced a compromise that may or may not appease consumers in the long run.