Starbucks bought 23,000 iPads for racial bias training day

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The coffee giant, which closed all of its stores for an afternoon last month, bought multiple iPads for each of its more than 8,000 U.S. stores, and will use the devices for future training.

A Starbucks storefront


Following a national controversy after police were called on a pair of African-American men sitting in a store in Philadelphia, Starbucks held nationwide racial bias training on May 29, closing all of its more than 8,000 stores in the United States to show employees a series of videos about racial bias and elaborating on the company's policies.

The videos were shown on iPads, and as AppleInsider and other media outlets reported at the time, Starbucks purchased a large number of the devices which were delivered to the stores.

A Starbucks spokesperson told AppleInsider that the company purchased 23,000 iPads specifically for the training, and that the iPads will be used in the future for further educational and training purposes.

Starbucks has 8,222 company-owned stores in the U.S., so that works out to an average just under three iPads per store. Social media chatter from Starbucks employees had indicated that most stores had received two, three, or as many as five of the devices, depending on the size of the store and number of employees. Tweets from employees also indicate that the iPads are from the current generation.

The 2018 iPad starts at $329 for the 32GB version, which indicates that Starbucks spent around $7.5 million on the purchase, although it's very possible the company received a bulk discount rate of some sort from Apple or a third party. Starbucks did not answer questions about the exact process of how it procured the iPads, but the spokeswoman did use the word "purchased," rather than characterize it as a donation.

Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, who has since stepped down from his position as chairman, told CNN last month that the training had cost the company "tens of millions of dollars" in total, in part due to the lost productivity from the closed stores, although he said he considered that more of an "investment" than an expense. Starbucks earned over $6 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter.

Howard Schultz addreses employees on an iPad


As for what the iPads will be used for now that the training is over, the spokeswoman said that "they will continue to be a key part of the additional 12 modules and future learning and development content for our store teams."

An informal questioning by AppleInsider of Starbucks employees over the last few weeks has found that most employees hadn't been told a specific purpose for the devices following the training, although one employee said that the iPads her location received will be used as supplementary computers.

It does not appear Starbucks has any plans to use the iPads as part of any point-of-sale system. In 2012, Starbucks made a deal with Square to operate such a system, but that deal fell apart two years later. Starbucks' mobile app has since become phenomenally successful, ranking ahead of Apple Pay in terms of mobile payment user adoption, as of last month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    uraharaurahara Posts: 163member
    Were those black or white iPads? ;)
    racerhomie3SolidavenfreshmakermacxpressStrangeDaysmike54bestkeptsecretanton zuykovjony0
  • Reply 2 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,346member
    Howard Schultz no longer a part of Starbucks, so maybe someone will right the ship and get back to concentrating on their business?
    edited June 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 39
    ronnronn Posts: 255member
    Howard Schultz no longer a part of Starbucks, so maybe someone will right the ship and get back to concentrating on their business?

    He saved them from falling revenue with his return. And he's stepping away to explore a possible Presidential run.
    Soli
  • Reply 4 of 39
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 869member
    Howard Schultz no longer a part of Starbucks, so maybe someone will right the ship and get back to concentrating on their business?
    No please, this helps with the stock valuation. We need more virtue signaling CEO's not less.

    Common Whole Foods, I know there just has to be an employe that "wronged" a non-white male in some form or fashion.
    SpamSandwichSoli
  • Reply 5 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,346member
    ronn said:
    Howard Schultz no longer a part of Starbucks, so maybe someone will right the ship and get back to concentrating on their business?

    He saved them from falling revenue with his return. And he's stepping away to explore a possible Presidential run.
    Well, there’s hubris, then there’s Howard Schultz.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    nunzynunzy Posts: 414member
    This is not a surprise. Starbucks is an industry leader and so they choose products from an industry leader.

    Starbucks and Apple are pretty much exactly the same in a lot of ways.

    edited June 19 racerhomie3viclauyycbrometheus
  • Reply 7 of 39
    ZRyserZRyser Posts: 26member
    Maybe Starbucks could buy 23k more iPads for the companion "read the bloody signs, dear customers" workshop.
    maciekskontaktwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 39
    ZRyserZRyser Posts: 26member
    razorpit said:
    Howard Schultz no longer a part of Starbucks, so maybe someone will right the ship and get back to concentrating on their business?
    No please, this helps with the stock valuation. We need more virtue signaling CEO's not less.

    Common Whole Foods, I know there just has to be an employe that "wronged" a non-white male in some form or fashion.
    Non-white non-male would actually score more points on the intersectionality chart, thus sending a stronger virtue signal, than a mere non-white male would.
    edited June 19 racerhomie3tallest skilanton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 39
    looplessloopless Posts: 71member
    I feel sorry for Starbucks employees who work at stores in downtown 'war-zones'. I recently had to do a CraigsList transaction at a Starbucks in an area with a lot of homeless people. All the wall power plugs are blocked to stop people hanging out and charging devices ( which was a problem for me trying to show that a charger worked!) .  Probably 2  inside were mentally disturbed. I can only imagine how the bathrooms will end up. And the staff were still pretty cheerful, so hats off to them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 39
    ZRyserZRyser Posts: 26member
    nunzy said:
    This is not a surprise. Starbucks is an industry leader and so they choose products from an industry leader.

    Starbucks and Apple are pretty much exactly the same in a lot of ways.

    Not sure about that. Apple designs and sells premium products for customers who want the best quality, design and service, whereas Starbucks sell mediocre quality street coffee a true coffee connoisseur wouldn't even rinse their mouth with.
    tallest skilnunzyentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 39
    FolioFolio Posts: 284member
    However you feel about the brew, it’s more than a one-shot endorsement of Apple. Starbucks one of the more savvy retailers in digital ordering payment realm. Use of iPads in highly visible semi-upscale chain doubles as continual product placement, one where apple doesn’t pay a dime.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 39
    nunzy said:
    Starbucks and Apple are pretty much exactly the same in a lot of ways.

    Firms that are successful over the long haul are a lot alike.
    nunzy
  • Reply 13 of 39
    ronnronn Posts: 255member
    ronn said:
    Howard Schultz no longer a part of Starbucks, so maybe someone will right the ship and get back to concentrating on their business?

    He saved them from falling revenue with his return. And he's stepping away to explore a possible Presidential run.
    Well, there’s hubris, then there’s Howard Schultz.
    He's made Starbucks extremely successful. He's hired tens of 1000s veterans (and their spouses), have hired 1000s of refugees and supports employees educational endeavors -- I'd love them to pay better and offer better benefits. He can't be any worst than other/current politicians. At any rate, potential voters will decide if he's deserving.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,444member
    Why not put the iPads in place as kiosks where customers can order what they want from there and then use ApplePay to pay for it? Although, I guess thats making the people working there not needed as much other than making what someone ordered. 
    edited June 19
  • Reply 15 of 39
    Wow. This is good for Apple.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,346member
    ronn said:
    ronn said:
    Howard Schultz no longer a part of Starbucks, so maybe someone will right the ship and get back to concentrating on their business?

    He saved them from falling revenue with his return. And he's stepping away to explore a possible Presidential run.
    Well, there’s hubris, then there’s Howard Schultz.
    He's made Starbucks extremely successful. He's hired tens of 1000s veterans (and their spouses), have hired 1000s of refugees and supports employees educational endeavors -- I'd love them to pay better and offer better benefits. He can't be any worst than other/current politicians. At any rate, potential voters will decide if he's deserving.
    Oh, but he CAN be worse than other/current politicians.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,905member
    loopless said:
    I feel sorry for Starbucks employees who work at stores in downtown 'war-zones'. I recently had to do a CraigsList transaction at a Starbucks in an area with a lot of homeless people. All the wall power plugs are blocked to stop people hanging out and charging devices ( which was a problem for me trying to show that a charger worked!) .  Probably 2  inside were mentally disturbed. I can only imagine how the bathrooms will end up. And the staff were still pretty cheerful, so hats off to them.
    Sounds like the Starbucks locations in downtown San Francisco. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 39
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,084member
    loopless said:
    I feel sorry for Starbucks employees who work at stores in downtown 'war-zones'. I recently had to do a CraigsList transaction at a Starbucks in an area with a lot of homeless people. All the wall power plugs are blocked to stop people hanging out and charging devices ( which was a problem for me trying to show that a charger worked!) .  Probably 2  inside were mentally disturbed. I can only imagine how the bathrooms will end up. And the staff were still pretty cheerful, so hats off to them.
    Starbucks at the intersection of political correctness and the reality of human beings. It won’t end well. 
    tallest skilwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 39
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,006member
    nunzy said:
    This is not a surprise. Starbucks is an industry leader and so they choose products from an industry leader.

    Starbucks and Apple are pretty much exactly the same in a lot of ways.

    Starbucks is only an "industry leader" in terms of their branding. Their coffee is complete shit, and I get a much, much better cup of coffee at pretty much any other coffee shop for cheaper. But yeah, they've got a lot of fans for whatever reason.
    entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 39
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,444member
    slurpy said:
    nunzy said:
    This is not a surprise. Starbucks is an industry leader and so they choose products from an industry leader.

    Starbucks and Apple are pretty much exactly the same in a lot of ways.

    Starbucks is only an "industry leader" in terms of their branding. Their coffee is complete shit, and I get a much, much better cup of coffee at pretty much any other coffee shop for cheaper. But yeah, they've got a lot of fans for whatever reason.
    I disagree...I love their expresso (Latte's). People don't stand in line every morning for a shitty cup of coffee. 

    People in my area love Dunkin Donuts Coffee which I cannot stand. To each their own I guess...
    edited June 19 ronnpscooter63Soliwatto_cobra
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