Tag Archives: Starbucks

Starbucks to close 150 stores

Let this be the beginning of the end for Starbucks.

Patch reports that late Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Starbucks announced it plans to close 150 stores by the end of next year.

Starbucks has more than 28,000 stores in 77 markets. In 2017, there were 2,821 Starbucks locations just in California, according to Spoon University.

While the company has not yet said which locations will close, a notice to investors said the closures will affect “underperforming company-operated stores in its most densely penetrated markets” in urban areas.

The closure of 150 stores points to Starbucks not doing well:

  1. The anticipated 150 store closings is up from a historical average of 50 closings per year.
  2. Starbucks says it expects same-store sales to grow just 1% in the next quarter. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks’ new president and CEO, said in a statement: “Our recent performance does not reflect the potential of our exceptional brand and is not acceptable. We must move faster to address the more rapidly changing preferences and needs of our customers. Over the past year we have taken several actions to streamline the company, positioning us to increase our innovation agility as an organization and enhance focus on our core value drivers which serve as the foundation to re-accelerate growth and create long-term shareholder value.”

Starbucks temporarily closed 8,000 locations, including in California, the afternoon of May 29 to offer about 175,000 employees racial bias training after the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks who were unpaid customers and refused to leave.

Below is a graph showing Starbucks’ one-year stock performance and, beneath that, since 1990. Note that something happened in January 2018 which led to the company’s stocks plummeting.

See also:

~Eowyn

Seattle Council votes to repeal new business head tax just weeks after they approved it

re elections meme

Did you know seven of the nine Seattle City Council members’ terms expire next year?

In early May the Seattle City Council approved a new business head tax to combat the homelessness crisis. From my post:

“The tax is an amount businesses pay per employee ($275 per year), with a sunset clause of 2023. The head tax was approved by a unanimous vote.

The main target of this new business tax was Amazon, which was not pleased with the tax. “Amazon had strong words for the Seattle City Council as it questions its future in the city. “We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.”

Immediately after the tax passed, a group calling themselves “No Tax on Jobs” gathered enough signatures to put the matter on the November ballot and let the voters decide. They needed 17,000 signatures by June 14 and surpassed that amount.

On Monday, Council President Bruce Harrell announced that he had called a special meeting for the council to discuss repealing the head tax. (Harrell’s term expires next year.) They already had a draft bill prepared for the repeal.

Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a statement regarding the consideration of the repeal. Excerpts from her statement:

Over the last few weeks, these conversations and much public dialogue has continued.  It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis. These challenges can only be addressed together as a city, and as importantly, as a state and a region. 

We heard you. This week, the City Council is moving forward with the consideration of legislation to repeal the current tax on large businesses to address the homelessness crisis.”

Less than a month later the council has voted to repeal the head tax.

The council yesterday repealed the head tax by a vote of 7 to 2. More details from MyNorthwest.com:

“Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold said the opposition to the tax was just too great. The opposition, she said, has “unlimited resources.

Teresa Mosqueda, one of two council members to vote against a repeal, said she is concerned that a repeal will result in months of inaction and more regressive taxes. The process to implement a head tax took months, she pointed out. And, if the city wants to continue getting people off the streets, it will need additional funding. She called on businesses who opposed the head tax to come to the table with progressive ideas.

Numerous people in support of the head tax expressed similar concerns as (socialist) Councilmember Sawant, who accused her peers of making a last-minute decision and “caving” to Amazon. “Backroom betrayal” and “caving” were thrown around frequently.

“Jeff Bezos is our enemy, he is our enemy,” Sawant said before the council voted.”

Read the whole story here.

I can’t believe the Seattle citizens are putting up with this clown council with a socialist member who is calling the owner of one of their largest employers an “enemy” in a public forum.

Yet I gather from the comments on this article and also at the Seattle Times that some proggies in Seattle are finally waking up to the madness they elected as the majority have had it with the council members. Next year’s re-election cycle is bound to be a hoot.

DCG

PS: Jason Rantz from KTTH Radio tweeted from the repeal meeting (see his Twitter timeline here). A bunch of socialists/proggies were there to support the crazy council member Kshama Sawant. A few of Jason’s tweets:

  • “Lunatic just claimed the Council is pushing “the Trump agenda.”
  • “Priest is mad that Christians don’t ideologically agree with him and now claims you can’t call yourself a Christian if you support capitalism. This guy is a lunatic.”
  • Sawant activists in the crowd shouting down speakers whom they disagree with. But remember: they’re fighting fascism or something.”
  • “We’re done with Trump tactics,” said one lunatic at the meeting.”
  • Crazy women being removed by security now but because she’s a Progressive activist, the crowd doesn’t mind and she’s getting a pass from the crowd.”
  • “Socialists think the couple hundred of them that worked to pass the Seattle head tax is more important than the 45k who signed on to repeal the . They don’t know how numbers works: it’s why they’re Socialists.”
  • “Sawant said she’s now talking as an economist and some in the crowd just laughed at her. Loudly. That annoyed her.”
  • “CM Sawant – “I’m speaking as an economist….” People in chambers break out in laughter….”

Sounds like the meeting was a whole lotta crazy!!

Shocker, not: New homeless count in King County shows spike in number of people sleeping outside

king county homeless2

Homeless in Seattle…

You know what that means: The local governments are going to need more taxpayer dollars!

From Spokesman Review: For the first time, King County’s annual one-night count of homelessness found more than half of homeless people were sleeping outside versus in shelter, with a stark increase in the number of vehicle campers.

With pressure to show progress on the homelessness crisis, the county on Thursday announced an overall 4 percent increase in the annual snapshot count of homeless people, to 12,112.

The count, conducted in January, found a worsening problem of people living in tent camps, cars, RVs and the street compared to last year. More than 70 percent of the county’s unsheltered homeless people were in Seattle.

The Seattle TimesProject Homeless is funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Campion Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Seattle Mariners, and Starbucks. The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over Project Homeless content.· Find out more about Project Homeless.

As Seattle and the county’s declared state of emergency on homelessness enters a THIRD year, the one-night numbers are sure to roil an already heated debate about how to better respond.

Compared to more rapid rises in homeless counts over the past five years, a slower 4 percent increase represents progress, said Kyra Zylstra, interim director of All Home, the county’s homelessness coordinating agency, which organizes the yearly count.

“It’s not the kind of progress we all want to see,” Zylstra said. “But our performance data shows that the resources that we are investing in are housing people faster.”

The increase in people living outside includes 370 residents of Seattle’s six sanctioned tent camps. They are counted as “unsheltered” because federal guidelines do not recognize sanctioned tent camps as shelter.

The new homelessness figure points to some gains, including significant drops in the numbers of homeless veterans and families. Zylstra credited rapid rehousing, which provides rental assistance, with helping more people find stable housing.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said the results point toward a need for greater regional collaboration.

“We must continue to take urgent action on the homelessness crisis with holistic, regional solutions,” she said in a released statement,” Durkan said. “The reduction in veterans who are experiencing homelessness shows we can have an impact with focused strategies. But there is much work to be done”

Overall, about two-thirds of homeless people in the county are men, and more than three-quarters lived in households without children. There were also signs of homelessness worsening outside of Seattle, with increases in people living outside in north and east King County.

The results come at a critical time. Seattle’s new business head tax, which will charge large businesses $275 per worker to fund homeless services and affordable housing, spotlighted a struggle to find the right balance between long- and short-term strategies. The business community has organized an effort to repeal it.

In the midst of that debate, a task force on homelessness, called One Table, has had delays in recommending more countywide, comprehensive strategies.

Read the rest of the story here.

See my many other blog posts on Seattle’s homeless crisis:

DCG

Starbucks ‘inclusive’ restrooms: blood-spattered walls, used needles & poop

Here’s another reason not to go to Starbucks.

Starbucks employees are having a hard time with the company’s new “inclusive” public restroom policy, having to contend with blood-spattered walls, used drug needles, and poop outside of toilet bowls.

Starbucks issued a new inclusiveness policy after a store manager in Philadelphia called the police about two black men who asked to use the bathroom without purchasing anything and refused to leave when asked. Officers arrested the men.

After the MSM blew the incident into a race issue, Starbucks executives apologized to the men and settled with them for an undisclosed amount. Then Starbucks issued updated procedures instructing employees how to identify and handle disruptive guests, including those who are smoking, using drugs or alcohol or using restrooms improperly. Employees are instructed to call the police only if the situation becomes unsafe — whatever that means.

Julie Jargon reports for the Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2018:

Now that Starbucks Corp. has decided to allow anyone to use its restrooms, it faces the critical task of keeping them clean and safe.

That job was a nuisance even before the coffee chain …said it would allow all guests in its U.S. company-operated stores to use its cafes, including its restrooms, whether or not they make a purchase.

Managers and baristas regularly deal with a range of problems in the restrooms, from drug use to defecation outside the toilets, according to some current and former employees.

Darrion Sjoquist, 21, who worked as a barista at a Seattle Starbucks two years ago, said drug use happened once a week and “cops were called a lot.” Once, when he was taking out the bathroom trash, Sjoquist was pricked by a hypodermic needle. He and other Seattle baristas even asked Starbucks to install Sharps containers—the kind of locked boxes found in doctors’ offices—in the bathrooms, to encourage drug users to properly dispose of their needles.

A current barista in New York City also said drug use in Starbucks bathrooms is a frequent occurrence.

A former Starbucks facilities manager said employees often found small drops of blood splattered across the toilet and walls. While there are special kits on hand with rubber gloves, tongs and a box to dispose of needles, employees aren’t expected to clean up bodily fluids and drug paraphernalia. They can call a Starbucks facilities hotline, which in turn can dispatch a local third-party hazardous-materials service to clean up. It is up to local stores to determine their needs.

Bathroom cleanliness is among the top factors for consumers in deciding whether to go to a restaurant, according to food-service research firm Technomic Inc. Consumers ranked Starbucks 20th in terms of bathroom cleanliness out of 62 fast-food chains in Technomic’s most recent quarterly survey of fast-food customers.

H/t ZeroHedge and FOTM‘s Stovepipe

See also:

~Eowyn

Is the City of Seattle going to ruin their economy with the new head tax?

government solve all problems

Last week the Seattle City Council approved a new head tax on big businesses. The tax is an amount businesses pay per employee ($275 per year), with a sunset clause of 2023 (don’t hold your breath that this tax will actually cease to exist at that time). The head tax was approved by a unanimous vote.

I’ve told you what has led up to this head tax vote. See the following:

Amazon had strong words for the Seattle City Council as it questions its future in the city. “We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.

More from King5 News:

“Herdener said Amazon, which had paused planning on two downtown Seattle office towers pending the outcome of the vote, would resume construction planning on one of them — Block 18. The 17-story building, which will have 1 million square feet of office space, is meant to house between 7,000 and 8,000 new employees.

But he said Herdener then went on to suggest Amazon’s expansion in the city may be curtailed.“While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.”

Herdener then turned the tables, suggesting the people holding the city’s purse strings are the problem.

“City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8B in 2010 to $4.2B in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period. The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem. We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better,” Herdener said.”

Starbucks also wasn’t too happy and had harsh words for the city:

“The company released this statement, attributed to John Kelly, senior vice president of Global Public Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks:

This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside. If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction. This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter.”

Author Travis H. Brown, MBA (read about his background here), predicts that the council just voted to ruin their economy. Travis is the author of several books including “How Money Walks.”

Travis wrote an opinion on Saturday entitled, “How Seattle’s new tax to fight homelessness could ruin its economy.”

Travis describes the city’s actions as shortsighted and a zero-sum game that will do more harm than good.

Excerpts from his piece at MSN:

“These are laudable aims (end homelessness and build affordable housing), but it’s hard to imagine a more destructive strategy for realizing them. The potential damage to Seattle’s economy from this blunt instrument runs into the billions of dollars. Some may believe that California businesses could still flee their high-tax environment for Seattle, but in reality, Seattle is competing with many other cities for this income. One example is Phoenix, which has posted the best income growth of any Metropolitan Statistic Area (MSA) since 1992. Phoenix has capitalized on its proximity to California by luring businesses and people with a low-tax environment that nets them $1,539 in income every single minute. Compared to Seattle, this is nearly $1,200 more per minute, or $70,348 more per day. The numbers are staggering, and Seattle can’t risk putting itself further behind.

Seattle’s $20 million benchmark for the new tax refers to gross receipts, not income, meaning it will hit high-volume, low-margin businesses (think grocery stores or construction wholesalers) just as hard as more lucrative counterparts, promising price increases for consumers as businesses pass along costs. Service industries with big headcounts are firmly in the crosshairs, threatening this key employment category for young and low-skilled workers.

Amazon isn’t the only big employer eyeing the exits. Real estate portal Zillow, another new economy trailblazer, faces millions in additional tax burden. Alaska Airlines, Expedia, PayScale, Whitepages Inc., and Coinstar opposed the tax in vain, pleading in an open letter to the city council and mayor that taxing companies for creating jobs is like “telling a classroom that the students who do the most homework will be singled out for detention.”

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this exercise in illogic is the city government’s failure to enact other commonsense measures to combat homelessness: zoning reforms and infrastructure improvements to facilitate construction of affordable housing; shifting funds from underperforming shelters to ones that deliver; and coordination of the city’s homeless strategy with other municipalities in King County.”

Read his whole opinion piece here.

The background of the Seattle council members:

  • Lisa Herbold: Has been working for government politicians and government agencies since 1997.
  • Bruce Harrell: An attorney who began working in “public service” in 1979 by working for the Seattle City Council.
  • Kshama Sawant: A SOCIALIST.
  • Rob Johnson: A progressive urban planner and transportation advocate who spent ten years working for a statewide nonprofit coalition before working for government agencies.
  • Debora Juarez: A lawyer who concentrated on providing legal and financial counsel to Native American tribes.
  • Mike O’Brien: Served as CFO for a law firm prior to election to city council in 2009. He likes to silence constituents.
  • Sally Bagshaw: First elected to the council in 2009. She began her legal career by working for government agencies and has been working in the public sector since.
  • Teresa Mosqueda: Came to Seattle City Council following a long career effectively advocating for working families.
  • Lorena Gonzalez: Came to Seattle City Council with a decade of experience as a civil rights attorney and community advocate.

Somehow I don’t doubt that business leaders at Amazon, Starbucks (and all the other businesses against this head tax) and Travis know more about Econ 101 than any of the professional advocates/public servants and taxpayer money grabbers on the Seattle City Council.

DCG

Saturday funnies!

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h/t @CloydRivers

DCG

Blackout: Major progressive web sites omit report that Starbucks is giving raises as result of GOP tax cut

media TDS

Yesterday at 5:09 am Reuters reported that Starbucks was going to give raises to employees. From the story:

Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) will use some of the savings from the new U.S. corporate tax cuts to give domestic employees pay raises, company stock and expanded benefits with a combined worth of more than $250 million, the company said on Wednesday.

With the announcement, the world’s biggest coffee chain joins companies like Walmart (WMT.N), Apple Inc APPL.O, Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) in sharing their tax savings with employees.

Starbucks is known for giving its workers, which it calls “partners,” more generous pay and benefits than other mass-market restaurants and retailers.

“Investing in our partners has long been our strategy, and due to the recent changes in U.S. tax law, we are able to accelerate some significant partner investments,” Chief Executive Kevin Johnson said in a letter to employees.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Over 11 hours later, at 1:45 pm (Central Time), I went to several proggie web sites to search how they reported this great news. I searched the following sites to see if they had “Starbucks” or any story on their home page about this announcement:

At the time of my search, I didn’t find ANY article on this good news on the above web sites. Gee, I wonder why?

CBS news had the story, at the bottom of their home page under the “Money Watch” category. Fox News DID have the story, about a quarter of the way down on their home page.

Wonder if these progressive “news” web sites will get around to reporting this great news as a result of the GOP tax cut plan, which NOT ONE demorat voted for.

No wonder we call them #FakeNews.

DCG

PS: I checked all the web sites bulleted above at 9:30 pm last night and STILL NOTHING about the Starbucks announcement. Shocker, not.