"On Monday it was announced that the retailer will be spending $525,000 to create reform, pay for fines and legal expenses, and hire anti-profiling consultants in their stores for two years."
It’s been a long journey for Barneys, but the end may finally be near in regards to their discrimination suits and drama. On Monday it was announced that the retailer will be spending $525,000 to create reform, pay for fines and legal expenses, and hire anti-profiling consultants in their stores for two years.
Only nine months ago a series of Black and Hispanic customers complained about the Madison Ave location’s Loss Prevention Unit making a disproportionate amount of searches. During the same time, Jay Z ‘s curated collection with Barneys was set to hits stores– inciting him to make a statement and denounce their behavior. Once state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman got involved the claims became a legal issue.
Schneiderman was able to prove that a “disproportionate number of African-American and Latino customers being detained for alleged shoplifting or credit card fraud.” Urging the luxury chain to rethink their practices and for others to take note.
In response, some retailers took the step of posting a Customers’ Bill of Rights in their stores. “Profiling is an unacceptable practice and will not be tolerated,” reads the document, which was posted in stores like Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. “Employees who violate the company’s prohibition on profiling will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”
In its agreement with the state, Barneys pledged to hire an “independent anti-profiling consultant with expertise in the prevention of racial profiling in loss prevention and asset protection.” The store also vowed to improve its record keeping, limit access to its surveillance videos and reform how it detains suspected shoplifters. The new Bill of Rights, reforms and policies will hopefully make a difference. If not, action will be taken.