A half-dozen Starbucks locations in the Los Angeles area will be closing by the end of the month, with company officials citing safety issues for workers and customers.
According to a letter sent to employees Monday and first reported by The Wall Street Journal, a total of 16 stores are being closed due to safety concerns, including locations in Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
In the letter, company vice presidents Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson wrote that issues facing the nation as a whole — including “personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use and more” — are impacting some of the coffee chain’s locations.
“With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too,” they wrote. “We read every incident report you file — it’s a lot.”
Stores being closed in the Los Angeles area include some in notable locations — including one at the famed corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, and another in downtown Los Angeles just a block east of Los Angeles Police Department headquarters.
The local stores targeted for closure are:
— Santa Monica Boulevard and Westmount Drive in West Hollywood;
— Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue;
— First and Los Angeles streets in downtown Los Angeles;
— Hollywood and Vine Street;
— Ocean Front Walk and Moss Avenue in Santa Monica; and
— Second and San Pedro streets downtown.
Employees at the affected stores will be able to transfer to other locations.
Stroud and Nelson told employee the company will also be offering employees safety training, including courses in responding to active shooter situations and on de-escalating situations.