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In addition, Starbucks plans to open 100 additional military family stores throughout the US during the next five years.

On Wednesday, Schultz responded that Starbucks' decisions are based on the company's values of "humanity and compassion", not politics.

The announcement came at the company's annual shareholder meeting where Starbucks' outgoing CEO Howard Schultz is also expected to touch upon the company's commitment to hiring refugees.

Overall, Starbucks wants to hire 240,000 people globally, including 68,000 in the US, by 2021, as part of the company's expansion plans.

Starbucks boasted that it had reached its initial goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses ahead of its 2018 deadline and will be expanding its goal to 25,000 by 2025.

In the letter, Schultz detailed plans to hire 10,000 refugees in the countries where the coffee chain operates by 2022.

Justin Danhof, the general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank and Starbucks shareholder, raised concerns during a Q&A regarding Starbucks' refugee hiring plan and Schultz's criticism of President Trump.

Danhof asked, citing a BrandIndex survey reported by Business Insider that found the company's consumer perception levels fell by two-thirds after Schultz announced plans to hire refugees in late January.

The menu, called "Mercato", initially will launch in about 100 stores in the city, but Starbucks said it expects to expand to other US markets in the future. After boos from the audience, Schultz replied that he could "unequivocally" say "there is zero, absolutely no evidence whatsoever, that there's any dilution in the integrity of the Starbucks brand, our reputation or our core business as a result of being compassionate".

Addressing Starbucks' recent hiccups with its mobile ordering platformand the stock's downtrend, Schultz said he was confident that the company would bounce back.

The annual meeting was Schultz's last as the company's CEO. For his skill, his leadership, and above all, his love for the company, I am proud to call Kevin Johnson the next CEO of Starbucks.

The program will showcase salads and sandwiches that are made fresh daily in each location, with the unsold portions being donated to Starbucks' hunger relief program, FoodShare, run in conjunction with Feeding America.

"All these things, I think, are part and parcel with building the kind of company that has a conscience", Schultz said.

The company will also be hiring more young people. Starbucks has managed to survive this shift by experimenting more with flavors-it seems as if the company is adding or testing a new beverage per month at the very least. The chain opened 651 domestic cafes previous year.

This April, the company plans to enable people to give one another Starbucks gift cards over Apple's iMessage app.


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