Business owner reacts to Starbucks leaving Monument Circle

INDIANAPOLIS — Despite Starbucks’ announcement that they will be closing their Monument Circle location citing the safety of customers and employees, authorities and other local business owners say downtown Indianapolis remains safe and they’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the move confused.

“Yes, downtown is very safe,” said IMPD Commander Phil Burton. “Downtown crime accounts for only about 5% of all crime in the entire city of Indianapolis.”

“I’ve worked downtown in the county for over 15 years and have never found it dangerous or unsafe,” said Kristina Tressler, one of the owners of the South Bend Chocolate Company in the county.

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A Starbucks spokesman said Friday that “the safety of partners and customers was one of the factors that contributed to the decision to close the store at 55 Monument Circle.”

The store effectively closes on October 28th.

A statement from the spokesman said: “We regularly review the partner and customer experience in our stores to see if the store is successful, partners (employees) feel supported and if we are meeting customer needs. Our local leaders are and have always been able to use the many resources at their disposal to transform store operations and create the best experience for our communities. But if necessary, we will make the decision to close a store.”

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Tressler says Starbucks’ announcement was a bit odd.

“It’s a little strange, I understand there are always concerns in business,” Tressler said. “I wouldn’t say it’s more now than ever if that’s her thoughts.”

Burton hopes other companies will contact the IMPD downtown district before making the decision to exit.

“We’re really surprised, and it’s actually a shame Starbucks didn’t share their concerns,” Burton said. “If they had had these concerns, we would have addressed them. It’s really unfortunate because we encourage our officers to go to different stores, not just in the Circle but throughout downtown to meet with managers and business associates to see if they have any safety concerns. I or the captain will be notified and we will redeploy our officers to address these concerns.”

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Burton said it was disappointing to hear Starbucks’ argument given the work of the IMPD Downtown District.

“It’s just a shame that they’re citing safety concerns as the reason,” Burton said.

Employees at the closing Starbucks location will have the opportunity to work at one of the many locations in and around Indianapolis.


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