Starbucks to close 8,000 US stores for racial-bias training

April 17 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp will close 8,000 company-owned U.S. cafes for the afternoon on May 29 to train nearly 175,000 on how to prevent racial discrimination in its stores.

The announcement from world's biggest coffee company comes as it tries to cool tensions after the arrest of two black men at one of its Philadelphia cafes last week sparked accusations of racial profiling at the chain.

Protesters have called for a boycott of the company.

"While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution," said Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson, who has apologized for the "reprehensible" arrests of the two men and taken responsibility for the incident.

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Protests in Philly Starbucks after 2 black men arrested
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Protests in Philly Starbucks after 2 black men arrested
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Jack Willis, 26, (C) demonstrates outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside a Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: A group of people observe protestors demonstrating outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Police arrested two black men in the same Center City Starbucks, which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Soren Mcclay, 14, (C) demonstrates outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Starbucks Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President Camille Hymes (R) addresses protestors and media in a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors, mother and step-daughter, Donn T (L) and Soren Mcclay, 14, (R) demonstrate outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Asa Khalif (L) addresses fellow demonstrators in a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Police arrested two black men in the same Center City Starbucks, which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: A group of people observe protestors demonstrating outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: A protestor dressed as President Donald Trump demonstrates outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: A counter protestor yells at protestors demonstrating outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Donn T (C) demonstrates inside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Police arrested two black men in the same Center City Starbucks, which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Police arrested two black men in the same Center City Starbucks, which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate inside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Michelle Brown, 50, (L) demonstrates outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestors demonstrate outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Police monitor activity as protestors demonstrate outside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Donn T (C) demonstrates inside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Lance Williams, 37, (R) demonstrates inside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Starbucks Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President Camille Hymes (C) addresses media and protestors in a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Jack Willis, 26, (C) demonstrates outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Starbucks Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President Camille Hymes (C) addresses protestors and media in a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside a Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Nina Lyrispect Ball, 35, demonstrates outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Asa Khalif (R) addresses Starbucks Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President Camille Hymes (C) in a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Protestor Donn T (C) demonstrates inside a Center City Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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