Starbucks Moves Ahead with Hiring 2,500 Refugees in Europe
The coffee chain has begun recruiting for positions, despite some initial backlash.
Back in January, Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz (now executive chairman) announced that the coffee company would be hiring 10,000 refugees worldwide over the coming years in response to President Trump's then-pending immigration ban, with the first 2,500 of those jobs going to refugees in the United States.
"I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise," Schultz wrote at the time in an open letter to Starbucks employees around the world. "We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question."
While the pledge was praised by many, it also appeared to hurt the company's sales: Analysts at Credit Suisse explained back in March that Schultz's decision may have had a negative short-term impact: "Our work shows a sudden drop in brand sentiment following announcement of the refugee hiring initiative on Jan. 29th," an analyst noted.
But it seems that's not stopping Shultz—or Starbucks as a whole—from continuing their valuable efforts to help refugees around the world. Yesterday, the brand announced that the second phase of its promise is now being carried out. Over the course of the next five years, European stores—mainly those in England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands—are set to recruit 2,500 new refugee employees. To make matters even more poignant, the announcement was made on and in acknowledgment of World Refugee Day (June 20th).
In a separate move on the same day, Starbucks also announced that they'll be recruiting 1,000 refugees to their Canadian cafés. That means the brand has already dedicated itself to 6,000 new refugee workers around the world of its stated 10,000 hirees goal. What remains to be seen is whether this mix of politics, human rights and consumer coffee will affect the brand (postively or negatively) in the long run.