Study: Starbucks’ Open-To-All Bathroom Policy Cost It Customers

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Starbucks’ policy to allow anyone to use its bathrooms and camp out in its shops, announced in May 2018 following a racially charged incident in Philadelphia, appears to be driving down traffic in some of its outlets — in some cases by as much as 84%.

study by academics from Texas and Massachusetts, using cellphone location data, found that monthly traffic to Starbucks dropped 6.8% following the change in policy compared to traffic at nearby coffee shops. Traffic to shops near homeless shelters, the study found, declined by as much as 84%.

According to the study’s authors, the findings show the potential perils of private companies attempting to provide for the public good.

“The results in our study highlight the difficulty companies can have when trying to engage in different forms of socially responsible behavior,” the authors, David Solomon of Boston College, and Umit Gurun of the University of Texas at Dallas, said in a statement. – READ MORE

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