The Closure Of One Indianapolis Starbucks Has Locals Baffled

In 2022, Starbucks has gotten plenty of press for actions the company said were taken to ensure the safety of both employees and customers. In July, Starbucks announced the closure of 16 U.S. locations due to overwhelming safety concerns, and the company said it would close additional stores if safety problems were unable to be resolved. While Starbucks said employees would be offered the option to relocate to other, presumably safer locations, not everyone believes the company is being transparent in its justification for closing certain locations.

Starbucks has faced criticism, and even a lawsuit, for discouraging employees from unionizing. And critics say it's no coincidence that the LA locations closed earlier this year were in an area where a number of other stores had voted to unionize. In August, Starbucks closed a location in Kansas City, Missouri, a move the company attributed to safety concerns, but one that critics say is another attempt to thwart union organizers, as the store has recently been the first in the region to attempt to form a union. Recently, Starbucks announced it will close another location due to safety concerns, a move that has perplexed local residents.

The Monument Circle Starbucks in Indianapolis will close

A spokesperson for Starbucks told NBC local 13News that they intended to close the Monument Circle location in downtown Indianapolis before the end of the month. Citing safety concerns as the reason for the closure, the spokesperson said, "The incidents at this store are at a level that we don't feel we can provide a warm and safe experience that people expect when they go to a Starbucks location."

What's the problem? Police Commander Phil Burton told Fox 59 he was surprised by the news, because police regularly patrol the area and that Starbucks hadn't reached out to the department to express any safety concerns. Owners and workers at other nearby businesses expressed their surprise at the decision, saying they felt the neighborhood was a safe place. In fact, Fox 59 checked police dispatch records and found a single 2022 instance in which police were specifically called to the Monument Circle Starbucks, the report of the assault and battery of a store employee, which ended in an arrest. An Indy Star reporter who reached out to Starbucks employees at the Monument Circle location was informed the employees weren't permitted to discuss the closure. Though there doesn't appear to be a link between unionizing efforts and the closure of the Starbucks in Indianapolis, residents are left with more questions than answers.