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Racist Incident Brought Starbucks $16 Million in Negative Press

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Starbucks Gives Racial Sensitivity Training

Starbucks Corp. Chairman Howard Schultz said this week that investors had questioned the expense of the company’s day of anti-bias training across 8,000 stores, estimated by Bloomberg to cost around $16.7 million in lost sales. But maintaining the status quo would have also been costly.

According to Apex Marketing Group, which measures the value of media exposure, the company suffered nearly $16 million in negative press reports related to the incident in Philadelphia, in which an employee called the police on two black men who were waiting to meet a friend at the cafe. Positive press was worth around $200,000.