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Study: Customers Are Angry With Starbucks


Starbucks, the world's largest coffee retailer, has dropped to its lowest consumer perception level since November 2015, according to a YouGov BrandIndex score.

It seems that customers are really angry with the coffee chain after the racially-charged incident in Philadelphia last week.

Since last Friday, Starbucks' Buzz score fell from 13 to -8 on Tuesday, a drop of 21 points in four days.

Last week, Starbucks came under scathing criticism after two black men were arrested from a Philadelphia Starbucks outlet on April 12. The arrests sparked accusations of racial profiling by the coffee chain.

The two men were waiting at the store for a friend to show up. However, a store manager asked the men, who had not made any purchases, to leave the store after they attempted to use the restroom despite being told it was only for paying customers.

The store manager later called 911 to report trespassing and the men were arrested by the Philadelphia police.

The video of the incident, taken by an onlooker and widely shared online, has gone viral and fueled a backlash against the company. The video also shows other customers telling the police officers that the two men had done nothing wrong and appeared to be targeted merely for their race.

Starbucks CEO Keving Johnson apologized to the two men for their arrest and also said that their arrest was a "reprehensible outcome."

In November 2015, Starbucks received a similar backlash on the social media after it replaced its annual "symbols of the season" Christmas cup design with a simple two-tone red cup. The current drop is about at the same rate as the one in November 2015.

Starbucks has also announced that it will close all of its more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the US on the afternoon of May 29 to conduct a racial-bias education for its employees. The training will be provided to nearly 175,000 employees across the country, and will become part of the onboarding process for new employees, the company said.

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