Local store facing backlash for policy that exempts BIPOC from appointment fee

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A local vintage store is facing backlash after recently updating their shopping policies for customers.

Civvies on Broughton posted to Facebook that the store is taking appointments to shop. There is a $20 refundable deposit to book an appointment. However, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are exempt from the deposit.

Civvies says the exemption was put into place to ensure that BIPOC do not face any problems shopping at the store.

“As a mostly white staff with white ownership, we do not feel comfortable upholding a digital and financial barrier which could prohibit BIPOC from shopping at our store at this time, on top of the limitations already made by online booking,” Civvies said.

The store then said that any white person who refuses to put down a deposit because they disagree with the policy will not be accepted for an appointment.

See the screenshot below to read Civvies full post, which has since been deleted.

The above post began circulating on social media and received heavy backlash. Some customers posted that they feel the policy is racist and discriminatory.

One Facebook user said the store is, “practically saying that POC can’t afford their $20 fee.”

Another user wrote, “If you don’t want to be perceived as discriminatory, you never should have mentioned skin color and booking fees. Either everyone gets a booking fee, or no one does. Skin color should decide who pays a booking fee. That is absolutely disgusting and racist.”

Amid the negative comments, there are some Facebook users who appear to be in support of Civvies’ policy.

One user commented in part, “I applaud your experiment. I get it. And I’m definitely not the only one. Social Conscience.”

The store issued a response to the backlash, but has since also deleted that post.

The response said in part, “Our reason for waiving the fee for BIPOC is based on the fact(s) that BIPOC are most likely to be living below the poverty line and most likely to be affected by COVID-19, and suspending their funds for up to a week at a time for a refundable deposit would be an additional barrier for access to our shop.”

The store also said it was unaware of and legal problems with their policy.

On Monday, Civvies deleted both of the above posts, saying they were deleted “on request of Civvies ownership, not management.”

The owners issued the following statement:

“It was not our intention to act in any way that might be perceived as discriminatory and for that we apologize.”

Civvies says a follow up statement will be released.

News 3 will have updates.

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