A Philadelphia man unearthed the racism behind Lowe’s receipt-checking practices. Now, the home improvement chain is suspending the policy altogether.
Apparently, in “high-theft” stores, employees were told to check customer’s receipts for proof of purchase before they exited. However, customer Will Mega, who is black, punched holes in the strategy, which seemed to rely heavily on racial profiling.
Mega conducted a social experiment after his receipt was checked at a West Philadelphia location. He took a trip over to a Lowe’s in Haverford, which is a suburban area approximately one mile from Mega’s home. As he was leaving, he asked the cashier there if she needed to look over his receipt and she purportedly laughed.
“We don’t do that here,” the Lowe’s employee reportedly told Mega. “This is the white ‘hood.’”
Mega shared video footage from one of his experiences at the West Philadelphia store, which was publicized by the local WHYY radio station. Mega also filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
Since being exposed, Lowe’s announced it was suspending the process for all of its 1,800 stores as they take a closer look at how it’s being conducted.
Mega isn’t completely satisfied with the company’s response, though. He said he wants to actually have a conversation with the company’s new CEO, Marvin Ellison, who also happens to be black.
“I want to talk about some of the serious ways to change the culture, practice, and policies for Lowe’s and also some redress for the communities they have racially profiled, targeted and harassed,” Mega told WHYY radio.
It's simply absurd that in 2018 people of color are still receiving this type of dehumanizing treatment. Laws may have been changed as a result of the civil rights movement, but clearly, people's opinions of minorities — particularly black people — haven't.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters