NGAC will set the start date for the Starbucks boycott and communicate the details to 9 million gun victims their families and supporters, 5 million gun assault survivors their families and supporters—14 million people whose lives have been directly and permanently affected by gun violence. Additionally, NGAC will be working with faith groups and non-faith groups that are working on gun violence reduction. These groups will inform their members of the Starbucks boycott details. By acting in unison—individual group members, gun victims, gun assault survivors and their supporters will create a powerful economic force to achieve the boycott’s objectives. To reach the public at large, traditional and social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, others) and public relations will be employed.
Before the launch date, Starbucks will be informed of the impending boycott and of NGAC’s criteria for calling it off. Our requirements are that Starbucks ban all guns from their stores and become a hi-profile advocate for sane gun laws. At the same time NGAC will inform the stock analysts that track Starbucks of the impending boycott as well as Starbucks’ license partners (which include, among others, Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom and Hyatt). We will make clear we intend to include one or more of them in the boycott should Starbucks not quickly meet our requirements. (Note: Starbucks was offered a graceful face-saving way out. They were sent the detailed study done in Indiana showing that many open-carriers are dangerous people with extremely violent histories. Starbucks could have said, given these facts they had no choice but to rescind their open carry policy. They refused.)
Why will the Starbucks’ boycott be successful?
The primary reason is that we have the capacity to seriously hurt Starbucks financially. Facts: In 2009, Starbucks’ financials showed its profit before tax, from all activities, was $562 million. I am one individual and have stopped spending the $8 per week ($400 per year) I was spending at Starbucks.
If 10% of the 14 million gun victims, gun assault survivors and their supporters reduce their spending by $8 per week—$400 per year—Starbucks’ revenue loss will be $560 million (1,400,000 people not spending $400 per year)… And this does not include any of the 100 million people that polls consistently show want sane gun laws. (Note spending can be reduced by not going to Starbucks stores and/or not buying Starbucks products sold in supermarkets and other retail outlets—such as their VIA instant coffee or ice creams.)
NGAC’s boycott will cause Starbucks’ stock price to fall significantly, credit lines will be affected and mass selling of Starbucks stock by institutions, mutual funds and other shareholders will occur; their stock price will collapse. Our potential impact is so significant Starbucks would be pressured by stock analysts, institutions, mutual funds and other shareholders, as well as by the CEOs of license partners, like Barnes & Noble, to end the boycott before it begins.
However, if Starbucks needs to find out whether gun victims, gun assault survivors, their families—people permanently devastated, longing for empowerment and repulsed at Starbucks promoting the pro-gun agenda—will participate and stay the course, they are welcome to find out. Our goal is for Starbucks to change their gun policy and become a passionate advocate for sane gun laws. By doing so, Starbucks will generate enormous good will from millions of people who want sane gun laws. This means new customers and new sales.
Recent examples of successful boycott threats of consumer companies.
In 2002, H&R Block made a deal with the NRA to give them money each time an NRA member used their services. H&R Block canceled the deal after pressure was applied by Brady and other gun violence prevention groups. They did the math and realized there were millions more pro-gun safety people than NRA members. No boycott was needed. Starbucks can make the same calculation.
Nike refused to cancel Michael Vick’s endorsement deal after his involvement in dog fighting was exposed. PETA threatened to boycott. Nike canceled the deal within 24 hours. Proctor & Gamble refused to pull its sponsorship of the Don Imus radio talk show after his racist remarks about the Rutgers’ Women’s Basketball Team. Reverend Al Sharpton threatened a boycott. 24 hours later Proctor & Gamble pulled their sponsorship. In August 2010, after Target’s contribution to a far-right anti-gay candidate in Minnesota, boycott threats were made by the LGBT community. The company’s stock lost $1.3 billion in value in one day.
Boycotts of large consumer companies are a proven, effective and powerful force for change.