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Starbucks’ Pledge To Hire 10,000 Refugees Backfires – Brand Crashes 70%



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Feb 27 2017
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One very interesting fact about 2016 presidential election is the excessive involvement in politics by business organizations or individuals who are not supposed to. Besides fulltime politicians, it appears individuals, organizations and agencies somehow found themselves indulge in politics – teachers, Hollywood celebrities, spy agencies and billionaires.

 

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is one of many billionaires who despises Donald Trump – before and after the TV-reality star become the 45th President of the United States. Mr. Schultz was so disturbed and stunned by Trump’s unexpected victory on Nov 9, 2016 that he actually sent a solemn note to his army of 120,000 U.S. employees.

Howard D. Schultz Was A Salesman

With a net worth of US$3 billion (Forbes), Schultz is one of Hillary Clinton’s greatest supporters. He argued that coffees and teas are bipartisan yet the billionaire has been slamming Trump’s so-called bigotry and hate and divisiveness. His involvement in the 2016 presidential election was so obvious that rumours had surfaced that he was considering a bid for the presidency.

 

As 90-million American customers going through Starbucks stores every week, Schultz was playing a dangerous game of flushing shareholders’ profit down the drains. When employees at a Miami Starbucks refused to write “Trump” on a man’s coffee cup after telling them that was his name, the coffee giant was accused of “anti-white discrimination”.

Starbucks TrumpCup Hashtag Protest

Soon, social media were floated with “TrumpCup” hashtag. Under pressures, Mr. Schultz was forced to clarify that Starbucks isn’t anti-Trump. He doesn’t think the brand has a problem with Trump supporters. In Dec, 2016, Schultz announced he would pass on the CEO title to the current president and COO Kevin Johnson in April, 2017.

 

It didn’t take long for Starbucks to declare a war against the White House. President Trump’s executive order to temporarily halt the entry of foreign nationals from 7 Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen – was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. In protest, Howard Schultz announced his plan to hire 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years.

Starbucks Brand Crash Collapse - Hiring 10000 Refugees - Chart

Starbucks venture into politics was one of the organization’s biggest mistakes. Since then, Starbucks’ brand has taken a beating. According to YouGov BrandIndex, the coffee giant’s consumer perception levels have fallen by two-thirds (70%) since late January, 2017. Schultz’s action has prompted Starbucks customers protest – #BoycottStarbucks.

 

Two days before Starbucks’ announcement, 30% of consumers said they would consider buying from Starbucks the next time they were craving coffee, the highest proportion in nearly a year. Now, the percentage is down to 24%, according to YouGov. The international Internet-based market research firm believes the backlash will impact the chain’s bottom line.

Markup Products - Starbucks Coffee

One Facebook user wrote on Starbucks’ page – “Upon hearing about your decision to hire 10,000 refugees instead of Americans I will no longer spend any money at Starbucks.” Furious Americans grilled Starbucks as to why the company has refused to hire 10,000 military veterans instead, if they had so many job openings ready to fill with foreigners.

 

Again, Howard Schultz was scrambled to explain, and apologise, to veterans. Starbucks claimed that it does have a program in place to support veterans and their families, hiring 8,000 veterans and military spouses since 2014. However, the damage has been done and clearly, Mr. Schultz had underestimated the power of American customers.

Starbucks Hiring 10000 Refugees - ShariaBucks Cartoon

True, companies have a greater responsibility to balance profit with social impact. But Mr. Schultz, a strong Democratic Party supporter, was thinking like a Democrat politician when he decided to retaliate against Donald Trump’s executive order. He just wanted to teach Trump a political lesson, a lesson that backfires spectacularly as shown by the plunge in Starbucks’ brand name.

 

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Comments

He forgot that it was home crowd that created the success for him and charity begins at home . He forgot to give back to the society that was his wall of support.He got too big for himself and the shoes did not fit.

Keep writing you balanced articles.

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