Local shoppers react to Macy's adopting of 'Consumer Bill of Rights'

Measure hopes to ending racial profiling in stores

CINCINNATI – Tri-State shoppers are responding positively a day after a national coalition of retailers agreed to a customer bill of rights explicitly prohibiting profiling and unreasonable searches.

“We spend a lot of money in Macy’s,” said one local resident who wished to remain anonymous. “We spend a lot of money downtown, down here in Cincinnati and across the country, and we need to make sure that we’re respected. When we walk into that store, we have that same respect that we deserve.”

Macy’s, along with Barney’s and other major retailers, have been under investigation by the New York Attorney General for alleged profiling incidents of African-Americans at their Manhattan stores. In October, Attorney General Eric Scheinderman’s office sent a letter to both the stores reiterating his state’s policy prohibiting racial discrimination.

In addition, Rob Brown, the star of the HBO show “Treme,” filed a lawsuit against Macy’s after he was detained in their Manhattan store by New York City police. Brown said police confronted him after he purchased an expensive watch. Macy’s stated they were not involved in the detainment and questioning, but did allow police access to a room to conduct an interview.

Macy’s, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, did not respond Tuesday to questions about the new policy set by the coalition.

The Associated Press reports Macy’s subscribed to a policy of posting the bill of rights in stores and on its website this week.

"We subscribed to the document that's going to be realized today by the retail council," Ed Goldberg, a senior executive, told the AP. "I think we're making excellent progress."

Gaylen Gordon said he understands some people come into stores to steal, but such bill of rights policies that outline how retailers handle suspected shoplifters help promote discretion and a positive atmosphere for all.

“We all have to look at it from both angles,” he said. “If I'm not doing anything wrong I feel good that the store and the business owners are taking this step to say that we support you coming into our businesses and buying goods.”

Macy’s and other retailers also stated they would continue to evaluate policies and how to handle potential shoplifting situations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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