Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is once again the focus of President Donald Trump’s supporters after its CEO Howard Schultz announced on Sunday the chain will hire thousands of refugees and displaced immigrants both in the U.S. and around the globe.
“We are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business,” Schultz said. “And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support.”
Starbucks Boycott Over Hiring Refugees
However, Schultz’s intentions were met with resistance, especially by Trump supporters.
— Uncommon ? (@uncommonIG) January 30, 2017
They even called for a boycott of the coffee chain, and began tweeting with the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.
— Missouri 4 TRUMP ! (@Johnatsrs1949) January 31, 2017
Some were outraged that Starbucks would hire refugees instead of Americans.
#BoycottStarbucks I did not serve in the military for 5 years so Starbucks can hire refugees and not American workers. Bad move
— dominick soldano (@dvs11965) February 1, 2017
And while Trump supporters bashed Schultz, those of contrary opinion started supporting the move.
— Joseph O’Conner (@gojo_pixar) January 30, 2017
And they even came up with a new hashtag: #DrinkStarbucks.
— Loves2Read (@MarciaPoulson) February 1, 2017
While others concluded:
There is a #boycottStarbucks going around because they’re pledging to hire refugees, you know what that means? time to get some Starbucks
— Shafeeq Younus (@Y2SHAF) January 30, 2017
This one in particular might catch the small business community’s eye.
— Lori Hendry (@Lrihendry) January 31, 2017
Clearly, one of the topics that businesses need to stay away from is divisive political opinions. While Schultz certainly may have good intentions, it is clear that his ideas are causing more divisions that might eventually end up hurting the brand’s business.
Starbucks Photo via Shutterstock