A coastal Georgia clothing store is apologizing for an appointment policy some customers say is discriminatory.
Civvies on Broughton in Savannah sparked a social media firestorm this week after it said it would charge only white customers a refundable $20 fee to shop at the vintage clothing store, WJCL reported.
The deposit, which was used to hold a customer’s appointment slot, was waived for customers of color, however.
“Most of the feedback about our decision to waive this refundable deposit is racist because it favors Black people, indigenous people and people of color,” store manager Raine Blunk said, according to the news station. “Obviously it is unfortunate to have thousands of people commenting and messaging us saying that they are going to sue us and have contacted the department of labor because this is a violation of their rights.”
Blunk defended the policy, saying he believed what the store was doing “is within the confines of the law.”
By Tuesday, however, the store had posted an apology from the owners.
Statement from the owners: “It was not our intention to act in any way that might be perceived as discriminatory and for...
“It was not our intention to act in any way that might be perceived as discriminatory and for that we apologize,” it read, according to its Facebook page.
Civvies launched the promotion Monday after re-opening by appointment only, WTOC reported. The coronavirus pandemic had briefly shuttered the business, which sells secondhand clothing and footwear.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, the store said it would waive the deposit fee for Black, indigenous and other people of color because “as a mostly white staff with white ownership, we do not feel comfortable upholding a digital and financial barrier which could prohibit BIPOC from shopping at our store at this time.”
This is Civvies on Broughton today. pic.twitter.com/A6P8rr6A09
— GAGirl1967 Flatten The Fear! (@Tamzilla_52) August 10, 2020
Managers went on to say the store would work with white customers who were unable to afford the $20 deposit. However, they would not accept bookings from white customers who refused to pay the fee because “you believe our policy is unethical.”
Backlash ensued, and the store’s apology was of little consolation to white customers who felt slighted by the new policy.
“ ’I’m sorry you interpreted what I did negatively’ is not an apology,” one user wrote on Civvies’ Facebook page. “You have only demonstrated that you have learned nothing from this.”
“No one ‘perceived’ it as discriminatory ... it is discriminatory,” another added.
Another critic blasted the store for making “offensive assumptions about people of color and discrimination against white people.”
McClatchy News reached out to Civvies on Broughton for comment and is awaiting response.