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Starbucks In Saudi Arabia Bans Women From Entering Store, Social Media Users Call For Boycott

By February 8, 2016 at 8:49 am
Starbucks In Saudi Arabia Bans Women From Entering Store (Photo : Jordan Pix | Getty Images News)

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - A Starbucks outlet in Saudi Arabia reportedly banned women from entering the store after a gender segregation wall collapsed, triggering social media users to boycott the establishment.

According to the report of The Independent, the Starbucks branch located in the country's capital Riyadh posted a sign, which was written in both Arabic and English, on the window. It reportedly read, "Please no entry for ladies only. Send your driver to order. Thank you."

Twitter user Manar N posted a photo of the sign on the social media site on Monday and said how the store refused to serve her because she was a woman.

More people shared their frustrations on different social networking sites, creating a much publicized controversy that led social media users to call for a boycott, International Business Times reports.

Al Weaam, an Arabic local newspaper, reported that the religious police called Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice ordered the management to stop women from entering the store after finding out that there was no segregation wall inside Starbucks during a routine inspection.

The management, however, told the police that the wall had collapsed due to customer stampedes.

Apparently, Starbucks denied such allegations of banning women from entering the establishment. In an interview with The Independent, a spokeswoman of the coffee chain said the store was under renovation, building a new wall to accommodate families and single people to adhere to local customs. The completion of the wall is due within the next 14 days.

CNN got an official statement from Starbucks. It said:

"At Starbucks, we adhere to the local customs of Saudi Arabia by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people," the official statement said.

"In addition, all our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu, and seating to men, women and families. We are working as quickly as possible as we refurbish our Jarir store so that we may again welcome all customers in accordance with local customs."

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