Kroger to implement ‘refreshed’ training after Starbucks racial bias incident

Chains like Target Corp. and Kroger Co. are rethinking diversity training programs after Starbucks closed all of its stores for racial bias training on Tueday.

Target Corp.’s Starbucks cafes remained open when the coffee chain closed its U.S. stores for an afternoon for racial-bias training. More than 8,000 Starbucks Coffee stores closed on Tuesday for a company-wide training session on racial bias following an April incident at a Philadelphia location.

The training is the coffee chain’s response to an April 12 incident during which two men had asked to use the restroom at a Philadelphia Starbucks. An employee refused because they had not purchased anything. The two men then sat down in the store and an employee asked them to leave but they declined, the Associated Press reports.

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The store manager, Holly Hylton, 31, originally from Dayton then sparked a nationwide controversy after she called police on the two men. Hylton is no longer working at the Starbucks located in the downtown area of Philadelphia, a spokeswoman told several media outlets since the incident occurred in early April.

Multiple Target locations in the region have Starbucks cafes, including stores on Feedwire Road, Miamisburg Centerville Road and North Fairfield Road. Starbucks cafes in Target stores are managed by Target and its associates, who participate in the company's existing bias training programs. Target announced that the majority of headquarter employees have already completed immersive bias trainings, and stores and distribution employees will now take part as well.

Starbucks cafes located within Kroger stores also remained open, a spokeswoman told this news organization.

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“In 2018, we are undertaking our own refreshed training on Our Purpose and Our Promise at Kroger. As a result, we feel comfortable that the most important core values and expectations of how we treat our customers, each other and our communities at large will be reinforced and brought to life in a powerful way through our Kroger culture to support Restock Kroger and beyond,” a spokeswoman said.

Here’s what else Kroger had to say:

• “We are in the process of embedding Our Purpose and Our Promise into everything we do across Kroger. Because Our Purpose at Kroger is to feed the human spirit, we lead with a passion for people and a passion for results. We value honesty and integrity, safety and respect, diversity and inclusion. And we promise everyone friendly and caring, everything fresh, uplift every day and improve every way.”

• “Kroger leadership is excited about these Our Purpose and Our Promise discussions in-store as we fundamentally believe this understanding will help us to better live our purpose, develop talent and redefine the grocery customer experience for our customers.”


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