Customer complaints put Kroger Co. under fire when cashiers in two of their stores refused to serve customers wearing pro-police T-shirts in
One incident occurred in Spring, Texas where a cashier stepped away and refused to ring up the purchase for a customer. According to the cashier, the script on woman’s shirt that read, “Police Lives Matter/ All Lives Matter,” offended her.
The customer said her spouse is a police officer.
On Sept 27, a similar incident occurred in Alexandria, La., involving a Pineville police officer who was off-duty wearing a pro-law enforcement T-shirt. The cashier also refused to serve him, saying she had problems with the police.
Due to the incidents, the Blue Bow foundation, a nonprofit aimed at supporting police officers and their families, is severing all ties with the grocery store chain. The foundation earns small percentages of sales proceeds as part of Kroger’s rewards program.
The executive director of the foundation, Kimberly Colley said, “Our husbands risk their lives every single time they put on those uniforms. They’re walking targets and this is the least we can do to show there is support out there. We don’t want to do business with them if that’s how our citizens are going to be treated.”
Kroger tweeted an apology:
We are sorry & deeply appreciate the police & first responders putting their lives on the line. Working to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
— Kroger (@kroger) October 10, 2016
A statement released by Kroger was posted on Blue Lives Matter website. A portion reads:
Please know that we are disappointed and sorry to hear about the incidents…We want our customers, associates, and the law enforcement community to know how deeply we appreciate and honor our police officers and the other first responders who put their lives on the line to keep us safe every day. We’ve taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
The Pineville Police Department also released a statement that reads in part:
While the Pineville Police Department does not in any way accept the actions of this particular Kroger employee, the refusal of service appears to be personal in nature and not representative of the Kroger organization. The Alexandria Kroger store has historically been a strong supporter of local Law Enforcement. … I was assured this was an isolated incident, and that the store was investigating the employee action and would take appropriate personnel action.
Unlike another national store, it looks like Kroger got it right. Have you experienced discrimination like this at another business? Sound off with your story; good or bad.