Today Starbucks announced it will close more than 8,000 stores on May 29 for racial bias training. This is in response to backlash stemming from a viral video in which two African-American customers were arrested for trespassing as they awaited a colleague. Stefania Pomponi, CLEVER founder and president, is quoted in Adweek making the point that Starbucks should be very worried about financial repercussions resulting from this incident. African-American spending power exceeds $1 trillion, and brands can’t afford to ignore this powerful purchasing demographic. Now more than ever consumers are making buying decisions that align with their values, and brands like Starbucks must continue to show consumers what they stand for by being transparent and accountable.

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