This just in from the Social Science Research Network: When Starbucks announced that people were welcome to loiter, their paying customers didn’t really appreciate it

POWERLINE
Starbucks Learns the Cost of Virtue-Signaling
by Steven Hayward
March 9, 2020

…In May 2018, in response to protests, Starbucks changed its policies nationwide to allow anybody to sit in their stores and use the bathroom without making a purchase. Using a large panel of anonymized cellphone location data, we estimate that the policy led to a 7.3% decline in store attendance at Starbucks locations relative to other nearby coffee shops and restaurants….The policy also affected the intensive margin of demand: remaining customers spent 4.1% less time in Starbucks relative to nearby coffee shops after the policy enactment. Wealthier customers reduced their visits more, but black and white customers were equally deterred. READ MORE

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