It took three racial profiling incidents in New York City department stores in one week for the state to finally crack down on the longstanding problem. Unfortunately, not all retailers are cooperating with the state in its investigations.
Barneys was quick to respond after facing two racial profiling allegations in one week, perhaps due in part to the added pressure of its imminent Jay Z collaboration. The luxury retailer even announced last week that it will be monitoring the police officers in its stores with surveillance. However, Macy’s, who has faced multiple racial profiling lawsuits in recent months, is lagging. As are a few other big-name retailers, according to WWD.
The New York City Human Rights Commission said it gave retailers a deadline of November 22 to send information detailing their loss prevention and customer detaining policies, as well as records of theft accusations and NYPD presence. Macy’s failed to meet the deadline, so the commission has subpoenaed the Macy’s Law Department, demanding information for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s (part of Macy’s Inc.). Next, the commission plans to subpoena other unresponsive stores including Old Navy and Banana Republic.
A Macy’s spokeswoman told the trade its team has “attempted to and [is] continuing to work toward an arrangement that satisfies the commission’s legitimate investigatory needs and protects [Macy's] proprietary business interests.”
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have until Dec. 10 to comply. It will be a little disconcerting if they don’t, since it will presumably mean they have something to hide. Either way, it doesn’t make them look good.