Barneys is the latest of New York stores to admit racial profiling, and in their case, they agreed to pay $525,000, after complaints arose that their store detectives targeted minorities. Both shoppers and former employees noted that minorities were followed and their credit-card use severely monitored, even if they were regular patrons.
“This agreement will correct a number of wrongs, both by fixing past policies and by monitoring the actions of Barneys and its employees to make sure that past mistakes aren’t repeated,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, when announcing the settlement Monday.
The Daily News reported that Barneys CEO Mark Lee was pleased with the settlement, saying in a statement, “Barneys New York has prided itself on providing an unparalleled customer experience to every person that comes into contact with our brand — open and welcoming to one and all.”
“I feel very vindicated today … Finally, Barneys appears to have conceded that they unreasonably followed, stopped, and detained people who look just like me in their stores, ” said shopper Kayla Phillips in a statement released by her lawyer.
Barneys claims they will not only pay the settlement, but hire an “anti-profiling consultant” for two years, and renovate their training policies for store detectives.
Further, Barneys, Macy’s and similar retailers announced they would create a customer bill of rights to answer criticism that they have treated some patrons unfairly.