The meeting came shortly after a series of racial profiling allegations against Barneys by African-American shoppers. They include Trayon Christian, who claims detectives stopped him outside Barneys in April, after he’d purchased a $350 designer belt; Kayla Phillips, who said officers blocked her entrance to a subway station after she bought a $2,500 designer bag from the store, asking her for proof of purchase; and HBO actor Robert Brown, who officers arrested inside Macy’s Herald Square after buying his mom a $1,350 watch.
“We want those policies spelled out. We are not going through the holiday with people being profiled,” Sharpton said. Both Macy’s and Barneys have benn hit with lawsuits pertaining to the incidents.
Macy’s said it does not tolerate racial profiling or discrimination of any kind. The store also said the meeting featured a “healthy exchange.”
In a recent op-ed for Huffington Post Black Voices, Sharpton cited a report showing that black buying power will reach $1.1 trillion by 2015.
“From this day forth, we can no longer continue to fund companies that dehumanize us and refuse to alter their practices all around. From the lawyers to the sub-contractors, corporations must diversify who they hire and who they include in their business dealings. From the shopping floor to the boardroom, racial profiling and racial exclusion must end”, Sharpton wrote.