As a former employee of this company. I left on good terms so I’m not bashing, I’m just saying that it’s about time. That someone has said something about this. Well… I might just throw a little shade.
Before working for this company. I was a frequent shopper. I’ve never been asked if I needed any assistance. I usually would ask myself. Or, I knew what I was coming to buy. I was never profiled. At least to my knowledge. I never paid attention. Until, I ended up working for the company.
My first day of employment there was very interesting. We received loss prevention training. Which is very normal in retail. They mentioned that if we see a person that looks suspect. We immediately say “Mr. or Mrs. Nick to said department.” They described what a potential shoplifter looks like. Most of them were boosters. I mean will come in a snatch about 50 pairs of denim within seconds. Some will have large bags, appear drugged out, sketchy behavior, looking around for cameras. I remember coming back from my lunch break. This girl says to me.. “Omg! You work here!! I Nicked you!!” I literally gagged. I was dressed up as if I worked at Barney’s. I had a pizza box and that’s all. How is this possible? So, I reacted.. I cursed her all the way out. As well as, a few people in the break room. They took us to the office. They made us apologize.. She did, I definitely did not. I made sure that her days will be miserable. As long as, I’m still working here.
As time goes by, I do notice that a lot of shoplifters were people of color. As well as, non people of color. However, many employees would immediately suspect the black person. Meanwhile, the Caucasian woman just swiped your jewelry cluster. I’m glad people are actually stepping up and saying something. Free People and Anthropologie have the same rules.
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Another day, another boho Karen retailer showing their true shades of beige. Last week, @anthropologie posted a Maya Angelou quote in splashy colors as a “call for equality”. With any mention of the #BlackLivesMatter movement absent, Angelou’s words could be interpreted more along the lines of “All lives matter”, lest Anthro offend their primary target audience. In the comment section, oblivious fans clamored for it to be released as a t-shirt or a poster. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Also in the comment section— claims of deep discriminatory practices. The code names different retailers have used to profile POC shoppers have come to light in lawsuits over the years—Moschino’s “Serena”, Zara’s “special order”, or Versace’s “D410” (the merchandise color code they use for black shirts)—but Anthropologie’s is maybe the most insidious yet. Comments from multiple employees confirm that stores in California, Chicago, Seattle, NYC and Canada use the code name “Nick” to refer to Black shoppers. Associates report being told to watch Black shoppers, and Black shoppers also commented confirming having been followed while shopping in their stores. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Anthropologie followed up with a post of a black square and then some promises of action they’ll take. At the same time, more hypocrisy was taking place at the corporate level. While the retailer was posting about committing to diversifying their workforce, they were at the same time asking POC for free labor. On May 26th, Queer Black creator Lydia Okello ( @styleisstyle ) was approached by a producer to potentially partake in Anthro’s #sliceofhappy Pride month campaign in exchange for a free outfit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Okello replied with their typical rates and ended up getting trapped in a back and forth volley with no resolution after being told there was no budget for an influencer of their level (22.8k followers). For a campaign aimed to express what happiness means, surely they could’ve anticipated that no one, especially in a month meant to celebrate them, is happy to work for free. • #blacklivesmatter #blm #anthropologie #anthropologiehome #anthro #retail #codename #work #free #influencer #microinfluencer #labor #dietprada
It would be arguments about.. “Why wasn’t this person Nicked?” I’m like everyone is suspect! I’m not just going to look and judge a person. If you’re wrong you get sued. So…. If I saw it, I said something. Loss prevention had quotas also.. Everyone was trying to get those quarterly bonuses. Which were great by the way. Even when it came to the hiring process. I would interview some amazing people. The hiring manager would go against me. If it was a non person of color. They were hired. Well… It was depending on the general manager at the time. K, S & L were really fair when it came to the hiring. The others not so much. When it was time for the employee and fashionista of the month. That was the nail in the coffin. I felt that I deserved the employee of the month. I was on time every day, help the store get 100% on the mystery shop, had the perfect register, customers would compliment me to management. However, when it was time. It would go to a non person of color. Eventually, I found out that they couldn’t stand me. I wasn’t tolerating the crap. They knew it too!! I would ask, they would say. “You’re too quiet or you only speak to customers and only cordial with employees.” That was nonsense…
It’s been years since I’ve left. I do remember leaving my farewell party screaming.. “I’ll never have to see these people again!!!!” The quality of clothing has gone down. I mean way down. Many people don’t even shop there anymore. Finally… People are speaking up!! They wouldn’t listen to the employees.