Starbucks Hit With Boycott Programs Such As Gift Card Trade in

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  • Starbucks continues to face calls for boycotts. 
  • One of the latest is a map that helps coffee lovers find alternative cafés to patronize. 
  • A New York coffee wholesaler is also offering a trade-in program for Starbucks gift cards. 

The latest backlash against Starbucks includes a new map that helps customers find alternative cafés to purchase coffee and a trade-in program for the chain’s gift cards.

The map and trade-in offer come as the company has faced negative publicity for its ongoing dispute with its union and handling of its messaging regarding the Hamas-Israeli war.

Anti-Starbucks activist Sacha Fournier recently launched “Nahbucks, ” a massive Google map of alternative US coffee shops near Starbucks locations. She created the map to give people who want to boycott Starbucks more options.

“The number of Starbucks can be overwhelming and make you feel like it’s your only option for a quick coffee, but this is far from the case,” Fournier said in a statement. “I created this map because I am passionate about helping people discover how much better local coffee spots are compared to a subpar Starbucks.”  

The map allows you to zoom in to find coffee shops near your local Starbucks. More than 78,000 coffee shop locations are included in the map.

Death Wish Coffee, a New York-based coffee wholesaler, is also taking advantage of the movement against Starbucks.

The company has launched a trade-in program for Starbucks gift cards. The company said it was inspired to launch the program after seeing social media posts about people debating what to do with their Starbucks cards.

Through January 9, 2024, the company will take your Starbucks gift card and give you the equivalent value in the form of a Death Wish Coffee card.

“Not only will we give you a Death Wish Coffee gift card of equal amount (so if you have $25 to Starbucks, we’ll give you $25 to Death Wish Coffee), but we’ll donate your original gift card” to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the company stated on its website.

Death Wish Coffee, whose packaged coffee is found in stores such as Sprouts, Albertsons, and Target, said the gift card is only valid for use on its website.

Starbucks did not return a request for comment.

Any financial impact of the boycott calls isn’t clear. The company’s stock is down about 8% in the past month. Third-party data from Placer.ai indicates that stores saw a bump in foot traffic during recent holiday promotions, but that bump was smaller than it had been the previous year.

In an end-of-the-year letter published on the Starbucks website this week, Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan suggested the company’s position on the Hamas-Israeli war has been misrepresented in social media, resulting in vandalism at stores.

“I am concerned about the state of the world we live in. There are conflicts in many parts. It has unleashed violence against the innocent, hate and weaponized speech, and lies — all of which we condemn,” he said.

He said the chain is working with local authorities to ensure employees and customers are safe. “Nothing is more important. Our stance is clear. We stand for humanity.”

Are you a Starbucks employee with a story to share? Email Nancy at nluna@businessinsider.com

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