Why A California Starbucks Closed Over Safety Concerns

If you were the owner of a food and beverage business, there are three things you'd probably consider before opening a new branch: location, location, and location. Is the area you're considering going to have high foot traffic? More importantly, is the area safe?

The location of a business, Forbes explains, is one of the key points that decides whether or not a business, big or small, succeeds. That's why many companies strive for addresses in developed, active shopping areas, as well as those without too much competition for their respective business. The safety or level of crime in an area is another factor to weigh. The Los Angeles Police Department reports that crimes such as burglaries, vandalism, and robberies all impact businesses, hurting profits and driving away customers. This is especially true for small businesses, but even major companies may choose to respond to local crime by closing up shop. This was recently the case for one Starbucks location in Sacramento, California.  

This Sacramento Starbucks was in a high-crime area

According to The Sacramento Bee, a Starbucks located in Sacramento's Land Park neighborhood became the first Northern California location to "go dark" following a disturbing trend of criminal activity in and around the store. Crimes included "assault, shoplifting, battery, and vandalism," a problem that one Starbucks employee suggested was fueled by the store's location near a homeless encampment known for the sale and use of drugs. Conditions at this particular Starbucks escalated so much that its seating areas and bathrooms had to be closed more than a year ago. Closing the store completely was a last resort, and the decision to do so was made on August 25.

This isn't the first time Starbucks has had to close stores due to disturbing incidents. In July, the company announced it would be closing 16 stores due to similar "safety concerns" (via The Wall Street Journal), with a majority of the stores in California and Washington. Later that month, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was reported to have said that the wave of closures was "just the beginning" and that more would be on the way following the company's stricter stance on store and employee safety.