Credit Suisse Says Plan to Hire 10,000 Muslim Refugees Is Hurting Starbucks’ Brand and Sales

starbucks-us-sales-Mark LennihanAP
Mark Lennihan/AP

Swiss financial services company Credit Suisse is warning that coffee giant Starbucks’ announcement of a plan to hire 10,000 Muslim refugees has clearly hurt the company by negatively impacting sales and damaging the company’s brand.

“Our work shows a sudden drop in brand sentiment following announcement of the refugee hiring initiative on Jan. 29th, to flattish from a run-rate of ~+80 (on an index of -100 to +100). Net sentiment has since recovered, but has seen significant volatility in recent weeks,” equity analyst Jason West said, according to CNBC.

At the end of February, it was reported that the Starbucks Coffee brand took a major hit after its Muslim “refugee” announcement made in January in response to President Donald Trump’s temporary travel moratorium.

According to the survey, after the company issued its anti-Trump statement, its brand name lost favor with customers. Perception levels of the Starbucks brand name fell by an incredible two-thirds since January, according to a YouGov survey, Yahoo Finance reported.

Before the company’s refugees hiring announcement, 30% of respondents said they would consider spending money at Starbucks. But after the new policy was revealed, that number fell sharply to only 24 percent.

The company’s announcement immediately sparked a #BoycottStarbucks movement on Twitter and brought condemnation from coast to coast.

Many Americans took umbrage at the policy announcement, wondering why Starbucks is hiring refugees and slighting the hiring of Americans — especially U.S. military veterans.

The attacks worried Starbucks enough that it felt the need to issue a second statement to explain to America’s military veterans that the company doesn’t actually hate them.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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