Minority shoppers know this feeling all too well: A store employee singling us out, continually checking on us, issuing warnings. Store managers operate under the false assumption that people of color are more likely to steal.
It’s an effort known as “loss prevention,” but it looks and acts like racial profiling. Which is why a store like Amazon Go is exciting, yet unnerving.
“In a world where even Oprah has been profiled for walking around a store, there are lots of people who might not want to risk trusting a store to treat them fairly,” tech CEO Anil Dash said in an email.
White people who have never been “randomly” followed around at a Walgreens may have no problem walking into a store, grabbing an item and leaving. But shoppers of color, who already see enough unwanted attention, may have their doubts. Read more