Who knew this Barneys debacle was going to reach such heights? Clearly not Barneys.
After what seemed like silence from all parties at fault, Barneys has realized that they cannot stay mum on the recent allegations of racial discrimination until they go away.
Following a response from Jay Z, who as of right now will keep his collaboration with the brand intact, Barneys followed up with a longer statement released via their Facebook page by CEO of Barneys New York, Mark Lee. Reports from WWD also claim Mr. Lee has set an appointment to meet with Reverend Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network to discuss Barneys’ current system of targeting fraud and its relation to race.
The following Facebook post on the company’s page addressed the incidents (in which two young black shoppers were racially profiled while shopping) as “unacceptable” and made promises to rectify the policies that are currently in place.
It read as follows:
“Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies. Further to our statement of yesterday, we want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. We are a strong proponent of equal rights and equal treatment for all human beings. Our mission is to ensure that all customers receive the highest-quality service—without exception.
To this end, we are conducting a thorough review of our practices and procedures as they relate to these matters to ensure that they reflect our continued commitment to fairness and equality. To lead this review, we have retained a civil rights expert, Michael Yaki, who also serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission has been the nation’s watchdog for civil rights for more than 50 years. Mr. Yaki will be provided with unrestricted access to all aspects of our store operations.
In addition, Barneys New York has reached out to community leaders to begin a dialogue on this important issue.”
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but it seems like this apology was a day late and a Salvatore Ferragamo belt short. Comments on the brand’s Facebook page are almost all in reference to the incident and full of shoppers near and far proclaiming their distrust in the retailer. (Go read some if you have the time).
Looks like there is a long road to recovery for Barneys ahead.
SOURCE: WWD, Barneys New York Facebook