News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local NewsIndianapolisDowntown

Actions

Authorities, local business owners confused, troubled by Starbucks decision to leave Monument Circle

starbucks monument circle
Posted at 10:38 PM, Oct 14, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — DespiteStarbucks' announcement that they will close their location on Monument Circleciting customer and employee safety, authorities and other local business owners say downtown Indianapolis remains safe and they are a little confused by the move.

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

“I've been working in downtown on the circle for over 15 years and I've never thought it was dangerous or unsafe,” Kristina Tressler, one of the owners of the South Bend Chocolate Company on the circle said.

A Starbucks spokesperson stated on Friday that “safety and security of partners and customers was one of the factors which contributed to the decision to close” the store located at 55 Monument Circle.

The store will close effectively on October 28.

A statement from the spokesperson reads, "We routinely review the partner and customer experience in our stores, to see if the store is thriving, partners (employees) are feeling supported, and that we are meeting customer needs. Our local leaders are and have always been, empowered to use the many resources at their disposal to modify store operations and create the best experience for our communities. But when necessary, we will make the decision to close a store."

Tressler says the announcement from Starbucks is a little strange.

“It's a little strange, I understand there's always a concern in business,” Tressler said. “I wouldn’t say it's anymore now than it ever was before if that's what their thoughts are."

Burton says that he hopes other businesses will turn to IMPD's downtown district for help before making the decision to leave.

“We're really surprised, and it's actually a shame that Starbucks did not communicate their concerns,” Burton said. “If they had those concerns, we would have addressed them. It’s really unfortunate because we encourage our officers to go into different businesses, not just on the Circle, but throughout downtown to meet with managers and business partners to see if they have safety concerns. That’s brought back to myself or the captain, and we will redeploy our officers to address those concerns.”

Burton said it is disappointing to hear the reasoning from Starbucks given the work put in by IMPD Downtown District.

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

Employees of the closing Starbucks location will be given opportunities to work at one of the many locations in and around Indianapolis.