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Starbucks plans to open more “community stores” in low-income areas
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Starbucks plans to open more “community stores” in low-income areas 1

Outside a Starbucks group retailer in Harlem
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

For many years now, a brand new Starbucks popping up means one factor: Well, there goes the neighborhood. The ubiquitous Seattle-based chain is almost synonymous with gentrification in city areas. Now one of many largest capitalist enterprises of all time is attempting to undo that repute with an elevated push for “community stores.” Starbucks plans to open 100 of them by 2025.

Starbucks group shops are shops in lower-income areas, city or rural, that rent native employees and supply area for group occasions. The program really started in 2016 in Ferguson, Missouri, two years after Michael Brown was killed by a police officer. Since then, one other 13 have opened throughout the nation. Starbucks says this system has created 300 jobs to this point. In this subsequent push, the chain will work with the nonprofit United Way to develop job coaching and mentoring applications in every retailer. Prices at group shops are just about on par with different places, as a result of, in accordance to Starbucks VP John Kelly, “This is not a charity.” Heard and understood, John.

It’s not a very unreasonable idea. Coffee retailers are designed to be locations the place local people members collect, catch up, work, take conferences. I’ve met up with pals to work on initiatives at Starbucks numerous instances—I imply, free WiFi! So with this program, Starbucks seems to be taking a sensible have a look at what lower-income communities want and assessing how to finest make its shops a neighborhood hub.

Could the mermaid brand turn into synonymous with gathering and empowerment in underserved areas? Or is it simply good PR? Unclear. But that’s what Starbucks is telling us they’d like to see.

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