Hiring Refugees Is Hurting Starbucks’ Brand, Analysts Say

Mar 09, 2017

Starbucks' (sbux) decision to hire 10,000 refugees at locations worldwide is hurting the coffee giant's brand and could impact earnings, analysts say.

Credit Suisse issued a hold rating on Starbucks, noting "significant volatility in recent weeks," CNBC reports. According to YouGov BrandIndex, consumer perception levels for the company have fallen by two-thirds since late January.

While perception of the world's largest coffee chain is still positive overall, it is significantly lower than it was prior to CEO Howard Schultz's pledge to hire refugees in response to President Trump's executive order barring refugees from certain countries.

In response to Starbucks' refugee hiring plan, consumers who supported President Trump launched a boycott of the chain.

The company responded to the conservative backlash by saying it would speed up its previously stated goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. Starbucks announced that plan in 2013, and said on Thursday it had already hired over 8,800 so far.

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