Old Navy is under fire after a viral video showed a white employee grabbing a Black customer by the arm and accusing her of shoplifting.
In a Facebook post, Lisa Calderon, of Ontario, said she visited a Canadian location of the store wearing a shirt with the tag still attached because she wanted to make an exchange. In her post, Calderon also said she was considering buying a white dress that she tried on.
Calderon said while she was in Old Navy she was racially profiled and made to feel extremely uncomfortable. Instead of continuing to shop in the store, Calderon made a complaint about her experience and then took her business to a neighboring shoe store.
However, when she left for the shoe store, an Old Navy associate named Stephanie approached her and accused her of stealing the shirt.
“When I was at Brown’s [shoe store] looking for shoes, a staff by the name of Stephanie said she seen that I did not walk into the store with my top on, and they saw it on camera, and that I still had the price tag on it,” Calderon wrote. “She then proceeded to put her hands on me in front of security guard Quesada 10830909.”
In a video from the incident, Calderon can be heard shouting, “If she doesn’t let go off of me I’m going to press charges!”
“Stephanie, I’m going to press charges against you. Let go of my hand,” she demanded.
Eventually, the security guard tells Stephanie to let go and Calderon goes back to the store to speak with the manager.
“Her manager Gillian Pike than apologized, took my info after approx 15mins and said they would get back to me with the district store manager."
Calderon said she would have been happy to show proof of receipt when she first made the complaint; however, she felt Stephanie crossed the line.
"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. 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,” she wrote.
After the video went viral, Old Navy Canada tweeted an apology saying Stephanie has been fired.
“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.
"We are so sorry that our customer Lisa Calderon had an unacceptable experience in one of our stores, and we apologize for letting her down. We investigated quickly & thoroughly," the company continued.
"The employee involved in this situation is no longer with Old Navy. Our commitment to ensuring everyone who shops and works in our stores feels welcome & respected is a top priority. As part of our commitment, we have ongoing training for our employees and strict policies in accordance with our values."
(Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)