The world’s largest store–as Macy’s famously proclaims–dominates Manhattan’s Herald Square. Right across from Penn Station, it’s in one of the busiest and most diverse places in the world. Spend an hour on the Macy’s block and you could meet people from a hundred different countries speaking 80 different languages. Everybody on the street is equal under the law–but step inside Macy’s and the story is a bit different, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman just had Macy’s agree to pay $650,000 and change its ways to settle allegations of racial profiling in its massive store.
“It is absolutely unacceptable — and it’s illegal — for anyone in New York to be treated like a criminal simply because of the color of their skin,” Schneiderman said. The AG’s office found that minority customers were detained more often than whites on theft suspicion and that non-English speakers were treated with bias. Macy’s responded with a statement saying that, “Moving forward, our company will be initiating a series of measures including enhanced training and education for our loss prevention and sales associates.” Shoplifting costs American retailers billions of dollars a year.