On the heels of several racial discrimination lawsuits filed against Barneys and Macy’s, a group of the largest luxury retailers are coming together to discuss the issues behind the recent events.
According to WWD, representatives from both Barneys and Macy’s, as wells as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor will meet on November 22nd in New York City to have a discussion about racial profiling, loss prevention practices and other store operations. The New York Metropolitan Retailing Association and the Retail Council of New York State are co-hosting the meeting.
“Barneys New York has worked closely with Rev. Al Sharpton, Mark Morial (chief executive officer of the National Urban League) and The Retail Council of New York State to make sure that all key retailers are represented at the Nov. 22nd event, including personally inviting many of the attendees,” said Charlotte Blechman, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Barneys. “The retail council meeting is an important first step to address a serious problem in our industry.”
The meeting comes after a series of racial profiling incidents with retail giants. On February 28th, Kayla Phillips, 21, was surrounded by police officers after shopping at Barneys and purchasing a $2,500 Celine handbag. And on April 29th, Trayon Christian, 19, was stopped a block from Barneys after buying a $350 Ferragamo belt. Both Phillips and Christian have filed discrimination lawsuits and complaints with the city respectively.
Treme star, Robert Brown experienced a similar incident at a New York City Macy’s. After buying a $1,300 Movado watch, the actor says that he was stopped by three officers, handcuffed, thrown into a holding cell, and was not released until the officers realized who he was. He has filed a class action lawsuit against the retail giant.
The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. “People are coming from New York and Dallas,” said a spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus. “We believe in the goals that they are trying to achieve.”