Schultz made the announcement one month after the world’s largest coffee chain operator launched its Race Together campaign, which became controversial. The decision of Starbucks only shows the commitment of Schultz to address racial issues in the country.
Starbucks has six stores at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Currently, there is no Starbucks store in Ferguson, but the company has locations in nearby cities such as Jennings and Florissant.
According to Fortune magazine, Schultz announced the decision of Starbucks to open its first store in Ferguson during a conference hosted by NationSwell, a digital media company focused on American innovation and renewal.
During the event, Schultz discussed the ongoing initiatives of Starbucks to prevent racism and inequality in the United States. He also discussed the company’s efforts in education for its employees, and its recent commitment to provide employment for military veterans and opportunity youths.
Opening a store in Ferguson is one way to create employment
Starbucks has no specific schedule for the opening of its store in Ferguson. Schultz emphasized that opening a store in Ferguson is “one way to create employment.”
Starbucks did not provide further details regarding the company’s plan for the store. A spokesperson for Starbucks explained that opening a store in Ferguson is part of the company’s plan to build more stores in urban neighborhoods.
Ferguson City spokesman Jeff Small said, “People have been asking about various plots of land recently, which is a good thing, but nothing to suggest a Starbucks.” He added that there are no new imminent retail development plans in the city, but “there are definitely some open spots.”
Starbucks’ decision is positive
Fortune noted that 70% of Ferguson’s population was black. Starbucks stores are mostly located in predominantly white neighborhoods.
Haim Mano, an associate marketing professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis commented that the decision of Starbucks to open a store in Ferguson was positive. He said, “When they ask the baristas to talk about things, it’s one thing, but now instead of talking about things, they’re doing something.”
Starbucks launched the Race Together campaign to encourage its baristas to start a conversation with costumers regarding racial relations. The company launched the campaign due to the racial conflict that is happening across the country. The racial tension was ignited when St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer, who shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager in Ferguson.