The U.S. coffee chain giant Starbucks has lost $10.98 billion in its market value, amid a combination of boycotts, staff strikes and slow sales.
According to Newsweek, since November 16 shares of Starbucks have plummeted 8.96%, which equates to a nearly $11 billion loss, amid reports of slowing sales and subdued sales following promotions.
Starbucks has also been hit by strikes, with workers demanding better pay and working conditions.
While the market loss cannot solely be put down to boycotts, Starbucks has long been a target for pro-Palestine campaigners because of the Zionist affiliations of major shareholder and former CEO Howard Schultz.
Schultz has invested billions in the Israeli economy and has promoted closer U.S.-Israel relations.
Calls for a boycott acceleration recently when the company took legal action against Starbucks Workers United, the union representing many of its baristas, which expressed solidarity with Palestinians.
Two days after Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Starbucks Workers United posted “Solidarity with #Palestine!” on X, formerly known as Twitter. The post was up for about 40 minutes before it was deleted.
Following the tweet, Starbucks filed a federal lawsuit in Iowa against Workers United, alleging that the pro-Palestinian social media post upset numerous customers and harmed the company’s image.
Starbucks is suing for trademark infringement, demanding that Workers United stop using the name “Starbucks Workers United.” Starbucks also wants the group to stop using a circular green logo that resembles Starbucks’ logo.
Since October 7, boycott efforts against brands which are thought to be associated with Israel have been launched across the world.
In Kuwait, giant billboards displayed blood-stained children asking: “Did you kill a Palestinian today?” taking a jab at those who still benefit “Israel”-linked products.
Egypt, Jordan and Turkey have also witnessed a significant surge in boycotts targeting multinationals that have allegedly either pro-Israeli stances or financial ties with “Israel,” such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC, prompting a widespread consumer movement against them.
Starbucks has stores in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates .
In a statement open its website, Starbucks says: “Starbucks has been and remains a non-political organization. Neither Starbucks nor the company’s former chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz provide financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army in any way.
“Rumours that Starbucks or Howard provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false. Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement.”