Black shopper says she can't browse at Target anymore

John Hanson Pye/Shutterstock @paykeedy/TikTok (Licensed)

‘It’s so exhausting’: Black woman says she can’t just browse at Target anymore after repeatedly being followed by secret shoppers

'And it’s ALWAYS a random single man.'

 

Stacy Fernandez

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Posted on Apr 21, 2024   Updated on Apr 21, 2024, 12:01 pm CDT

For a lot of people, Target is their retail oasis where they can browse around happily, picking up things they don’t necessarily need. But Black shoppers don’t get the same luxury. Instead, they get racially profiled and followed around the store.

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This isn’t new. In a country built off of racism, people of color—especially Black people—have long been made to feel uncomfortable while shopping just about anywhere—from the grocery store to clothing stores to big box retailers like Target and Walmart.

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You’d think that as time goes on, unfounded stereotypes would die down, but alas, it’s still happening. A 2021 survey found that 90% of Black shoppers experienced racial profiling while buying or browsing.

And it’s not just morally wrong—it’s bad for business too.

The State of Racial Profiling in American Retail report found that just over half of shoppers wouldn’t go back to a place where they’d felt profiled. Another study from Sephora found that people of color are more likely to shop online to avoid being profiled in a store.

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In a viral video that has more than a million views, a Black woman shared that a Target mystery shopper (usually someone from their loss prevention team) was following her around.

“It is so annoying, coming in to literally just browse. You cannot just browse as a Black person. You have to be able to, you have to go in the store to internationally purchase something every time and that’s so exhausting,” Keedy (@paykeedy) said.

She added that if the person kept following her, she would go up and talk to them.

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“Stop following us. You wanna know who is stealing? The little white teenager that coming up in here with no parents. They in the dressing room whispering and cutting off your security tags,” Keedy said.

She added that even though she’s an influencer, she didn’t care if Target saw the video because she didn’t want to work with a company that profiles people.

Some Black shoppers have shared videos of the creative ways they deal with the discomfort of being profiled.

One woman who was getting followed around by a white employee at a Hobby Lobby figured that if she was going to be trailed by the woman anyway, she may as well be useful, so she started handing the worker her items to carry. The employee didn’t even seem to notice as she took each item one by one.

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In another TikTok, a woman explained how she got workers to back off of her. She said she’d stand super close to them, if they still don’t move away she’d start touching the products near them and not put them away neatly.

@paykeedy

Enough is enough.

♬ original sound – she’s PETITE 😉

And people had a lot to say in Keedy’s comments section.

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“I stop on purpose whenever I feel like I’m being followed. Like ok how long we both gonna stay in the shampoo aisle ? Ima look at every single one & start lookin at the ingredients. Make it a game,” a top comment read.

“My adhd be taking them on a wild ride around the store. Back and forth from the one side of the store to another. Because I keep getting side tracked and forgetting stuff,” a person shared.

“I used to go in the target with my WT girlfrd I knew they wld follow me and she wld come out with everything we need and more.One time she walked out with 2 iPads cuz they were worried about me,” another recounted.

The Daily Dot reached out to Keedy and Target for comment via email.

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*First Published: Apr 21, 2024, 3:00 pm CDT
 
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