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Starbucks Closures in LA: Mayor Garcetti Is Making Sure ‘Businesses Can Feel Secure’

Los Angeles and West Hollywood city leaders spoke on workplace safety after Starbucks said six of its LA-area stores — alongside a total of 16 locations nationwide — are closing at the end of the month.

The closures are due, in part, to drug use, chronic homelessness, and employee safety concerns, the company said.

Closing locations in the LA-area include Hollywood and Vine, Hollywood and Western, two in Little Tokyo, another on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and one next to the Santa Monica Pier.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said he had seen incidents at some of the closing Starbucks stores.

“I’m committed to doubling down with LAPD and with other strategies to make sure we can have safe spaces, safe places, and that businesses can feel secure,” Garcetti said.

West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister said she doesn’t know if “Starbucks has any more reason to be concerned than any other store in the neighborhood or in the city.”

Guillermo Fierros is a regular customer at one of the Starbucks closing in Little Tokyo, located one block from the LA Police Department headquarters. He said he hopes the city of LA can find a solution to the safety problems.

“I’ve seen so many homeless hanging around outside, and I’ve seen it inside, and they try to steal coffee mugs,” Fierros said.

Blair Besten, executive director of the Historic Core Business Improvement District, said there may be more reasons for the closures than crime and homelessness.

Starbucks says it is closing six of their coffee shops in the Los Angeles area, citing employee safety concerns and several incidents at some of their most high-profile locations. Alex Rozier reports for the NBC 4 News at 6

“Also the cost-benefit analysis of being at a certain location,” Bersten said. “We don’t know what their income stream is, and we don’t know what the pandemic did.”

In letters to their partners, the coffee giant’s executives said they need to “reinvent Starbucks for the future” by “creating safe and welcoming stores.”

The Starbucks closures raises some questions about safety and the future of business in the LA area.

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