An Old Navy employee in Ontario, Canada, was captured on video grabbing a black customer by her wrist and accusing her of shoplifting from the store. The customer alleges that she was racially profiled.
Lisa Calderon took to Facebook to share videos she captured during a recent shopping trip at Square One Shopping Centre in Ontario. She had initially entered the Old Navy store to return a recent purchase and to try on a dress. However, Calderon, explains in the post, she felt uncomfortable and left with her already purchased clothing and without the dress.
“I decided to go somewhere else,” she wrote. “I even went as far as to voice my concern to staff before leaving the store.” She added that she would have understood if an employee had asked her then about the shirt she had already purchased. Instead, Calderon was approached after she left Old Navy and while she was shopping in another store by an employee she identified as Stephanie.
Calderon alleges that Stephanie told her that they saw she did not enter the store with the shirt on, that they had camera footage, and that the price tag was still on the shirt.
In the footage Calderon filmed on her cell phone, Stephanie can be seen holding onto Calderon’s wrist in front of members of the mall’s security team. Only until she became irate did the security team tell Stephanie to let go.
Eventually, Calderon agreed to return to Old Navy, where Stephanie’s manager, who she identifies as Gillian Pike, apologized and admitted the employee had no right to put her hands on Calderon.
“I would’ve been more calm and understanding if she didn’t accuse me first, and would’ve been happy to show my receipt, especially because I voiced my racial profile complaint to the employee before I left the store,” Calderon wrote. “This needs to stop, Stephanie had no Right to aggressively lay her hands on me and accuse me of stealing a $13 dollar top, had she not have done that this situation would’ve ended quietly.”
1/3 Old Navy was founded to be a place where everyone belongs. It’s been a part of our culture & values since day one, and that makes it even more upsetting when incidents occur that don’t reflect those values.
— Old Navy Canada ® (@OldNavyCA) June 13, 2019
Old Navy Canada’s official Twitter account addressed the incident on social media and contacted Calderon to inform her that the employee was no longer with the company.
“Old Navy’s District Manager called me, Stephanie is no longer with the Company,” Calderon shared in an update. “Also a public apology will be issued. In addition a national sensitivity training (possibly international), will be conducted with all employees.”
An Old Navy spokesperson provided the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “Old Navy was founded in 1994 to be a place where everyone belongs. It’s been a part of our culture and values since day one, and always will be. That makes it even more upsetting when incidents occur that don’t reflect those values. We are so sorry that Lisa Calderon had an unacceptable experience in one of our stores, and we apologize for letting her down. Following a thorough investigation, we’ve taken action in accordance with our values and policies. The employee involved in this situation is no longer with Old Navy. We have ongoing training opportunities for our employees globally to ensure everyone who shops and works in our stores feels welcome and respected, and will continue to do so.”
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