By Harriet Whitehead
A sales manager has accused beauty retailer Superdrug of being ‘racist’ – claiming it placed DOUBLE the number of CCTV monitoring signs in the section displaying black hair products than elsewhere.
Fuming Xavy Wright alleged the store had twice the number of signs in that one section compared to the rest of the aisle which she claims implies that black people are more likely to steal.
Superdrug has apologised and said it is now investigating the placement of signs on two shelves which read ‘for your safety and security this area is monitored by CCTV’ after Xavy shared her concerns in a video taken in the store in Brighton train station.
Xavy, from Brighton, said: “It was the first time I’d been in that store but I’d read reviews that said they had a good selection of black hair products.
“It’s a small section of the aisle and there’s two of these CCTV notices. I was like ‘there’s one at the end of the aisle then two in the black hair section.
“It’s like they think it’s only black people who steal. Fair enough to have one sign but why do they need two? It’s the smallest section.
“I think it was deliberate. If not they would have them all over the aisle not just two in that one area.
“It’s offensive and racist. At first I thought maybe they weren’t being consciously racist but then I thought maybe they are because they put two there.
“It’s not as if there are expensive products there either. Some of the hair dyes are more expensive so why not put a sign there?
“I think it suggests black people are more likely to steal than white people and marks us out because of our skin.
“It’s like they are saying we are criminals or need to be watched more.
“It might seem like a small thing to some people but this stuff always starts as a small thing and next thing you know they will start following us around shops again and checking our bags.
“I have been followed around stores before – the last time was about three years ago when a security guard or sales assistant would watch me every time I went down an aisle.
“It’s important that it’s highlighted. It’s 2018 and why are people not over this way of thinking and of treating people differently?”
Xavy, who is in her late twenties, said she didn’t complain at the time but later shared a video of what she’d seen on social media posting it to the Superdrug site.
Xavy said: “I posted it to my page and one of my friends said I should send it to Superdrug.
“My friends were angry. One was like ‘why are you surprised? This is what happens’ and another said it happens in America all the time.
“I know it happens but I didn’t think it would be so blatant. Brighton is such a diverse place and then I saw that and thought ‘really?’
“It’s definitely put me off going to that particular shop.”
A spokeswoman for Superdrug said: “We apologise for any offence this has caused to Ms Wright and any other customers this was certainly never our intention.
“Superdrug prides itself on the diversity of its customers and colleagues and a lot of work has been done over the last few years to ensure we provide a wide range of products for all our customers.
“There are CCTV cameras and signs placed throughout Superdrug stores to prevent theft and to ensure the safety and security of our customers.
“We’re investigating the placement of the signs in the Brighton Station store and will ensure these are now placed throughout the store in line with our company policy.”