A black couple from Elizabeth, NJ has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Barneys.
Conrad Barton, 30, and Geneva Gordon, 25, of Elizabeth, N.J., purchased a $1,045 pair of jeans and a $321 scarf on Sept. 11 from the Seventh Ave. store in New York City and attempted to return them on Oct. 4. But according to the couple’s lawsuit, when they tried to return them, they were hassled.
When Barton showed his receipt and card used to purchase the items, a store manager approached the counter and asked Barton to show his ID. Barton argued that he didn’t need ID.
Turned out that the “store manager” wasn’t even a manager but a loss prevention officer. The LP officer refused to give Barton his clothes or debit card back.
“You’re being stereotyped when you are just following a regular store procedure,” said Barton, who works in transportation operations. “It shouldn’t have went down that route.”
“Barneys has the temerity to look customers straight in the face and charge $1,200 for so called ‘designer jeans,’ and then look down their noses at the same patrons who then decide to return the item,” their lawyer Peter Gleason said.
“One would think that Barneys would have instituted change after being fined over $500,000 by the New York State Attorney General for this very type of discriminatory behavior.”
Eventually a store manager came and handled the exchange, but Gordon said it was still “very disheartening and embarrassing and unnecessary.”