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The luxury retailer Barneys faces fresh legal troubles two years after paying a hefty fine for employees racially profiling Black customers.

An African-American couple filed a lawsuit Thursday against Barneys in New York City for harassing them when they tried to return high-priced designer jeans and a scarf, the New York Daily News reports.

Conrad Barton paid $1,045.20 for the jeans and $321.19 for the scarf in September, which he tried to return about three weeks later. He showed a clerk his debit card and two receipts. The clerk asked him to wait, and then a man claiming to be a manager appeared.

He demanded to see Barton’s identification, which Barton declined to show, arguing that it was unnecessary. The man, who was actually a loss prevention officer, took the clothing and confiscated Barton’s debit card.

Barton went to his car and returned with Geneva Gordon, who argued with the officer for several minutes. Eventually, the real store manager showed up and completed the return.

“I feel the whole situation was very disheartening and embarrassing and unnecessary,” Gordon told The Daily News.

She added: “They tried to insinuate that the merchandise did not belong to us. That’s what the whole ordeal seemed to be about. It makes no sense.”

The couple hired attorney Peter Gleason, who contacted Barneys’ lawyer. Barneys claimed it was investigating the incident but then cut off all communication with Gleason. That’s when Barton and Gordon decided to file a discrimination lawsuit.

Gleason told the newspaper that it’s unacceptable for the store to charge exorbitant prices and then “look down their noses” at customers when they return items.

Several Black customers have sued Barneys over similar incidents. In 2014, the company paid New York a $525,000 fine to resolve allegations of singling out minorities as suspected shoplifters.

SOURCE: New York Daily News


Black Couple Harassed After Spending $1,045 On Jeans At Barneys was originally published on

16 thoughts on “Black Couple Harassed After Spending $1,045 On Jeans At Barneys

  1. irvin Pressley jr on said:

    We as African American American people need to teach our dollars to have good cents. Why spend money with a retailer who has no respect for you. No one should put themselves in a position to continue to be mistreated. Spend your money in institutions that respect you

  2. So you KNOW when you step in the door that they have these types of situations and you shop there anyway???? I’m dumbfounded😞😞

  3. the choice to shop at this store or any other using the same type of tactics is and will always be the same, the individual /s have to determine if having those “store items” is worth your personal self respect, please americans “its not rocket science” if they don’t respect you why bother to respect them by giving “your” money to their cause. be blessed

    • specialt757 on said:

      Unfortunately, some of us in the black community think they’ve “made it” when they can shop at these stores. Reminds me of the episode of “a different world” when Whitley bought that expensive jewelry from that “up your nose” store and how the white sales clerk clearly thought she was a poor black child probably looking to steal. But how Whitley had to prove that she was rich even when Kimberly explained to her what this white woman thought of her, keeping in mind she was giving her white ass a commission.
      Yes they exist and for the life of me, I don’t know why we care so much about what others think about us. Why there is a need to keep up with the Jones and little do we know the Jones are in drowning in debt, and barely keeping up the monthly payments. I will never understand that mindset, what a shame.

  4. Why are some of us still shopping at Barney’s? They have shown in the past they don’t want us in their store. Hit the where it hurts, their bottom line. Please folks stop shopping there.

    • Kirk Brunson on said:

      Exactly, if Barneys has already been shown to practice racial profiling and has been fined and sued for racial profiling why would anyone minority want to step foot in thatvstore???

  5. Our people will never have true wealth as long as we wasted money frivolously. $1045 on jeans? How about buying a phonics book? Damm Peeps

  6. This comment is based solely on what is being presented in this story, not necessarily the true facts, because I don’t know the true facts.
    Barneys handled this ALL WRONG. Yes, I got people steal, but even if this couple did steal these items, Barney’s was not out any money/merchandise. They returned the items, therefore Barney’s could resell. It appears the items were purchased on a debit card (again just based on what my understanding of this story), the money will go back on the card. In my lifetime, I’ve used a debit card and returned merchandise and never had to show an ID, I produced the receipt and the debit card because I wanted the money to go back on the card.
    Sure this couple could have stolen the items from someone else and trying to get a quick pay day, but if the items were credited back to the debit card, how would they get the cash? (not really sure if this couple wanted cash or just a credit on the card). They would have to know the PINN to retrieve from an ATM or have an ID that matches the card in order to go into a bank to get cash. My guess is that if they did steal this from someone else, that someone else would already have reported the card and merchandise stolen to appropriate institutions, cops, and bank.
    Was Barney’s trying to protect the “real” card holder or themselves? Either way, the investigation should have been really easy. Go back to surveillance tapes, since they have the date and time of the original transaction, and start from there. Seems like this couple is going the EXTRA mile if they were criminals, but I know stranger things have happened, after all we have a orange clown as the next U.S. president…who would’ve thought?

    • Kirk Brunson on said:

      My question to this particular comment is how in the world would think that this couple might have been able to hypothetically steal the products that were being returned, the receipt to the stolen products, and have the debit card that they were purchased on? I have also purchased using a debit card and the stores that I’ve done the returns at will give the cash back if they are not presented with the card that was used to make the purchase. All I’m saying is that this couple had everything in their favor and it was practically impossible for those items to has been stolen from someone else unless it was a close relative or friend where they might have had access to all of those items (jeans,scarf,receipts and debit card)

      • specialt757 on said:

        I don’t believe the couple did steal the items whether from the store or from anyone else. My comments was pretty much hypothetical examples. But I do agree that I have no idea why black folks would waste their time or money shopping in an exorbitantly over-priced store where they’ve been shown over and over again that they nor their hard earned dollars are not wanted.
        Oh and btw, I’ve known folks to steal from others, and use their debit cards and or receipts, took the merchandise to the store and got the cash. It’s not hard to believe, it happens. Again, I just don’t think it happened in this case.

  7. Why do we even bother shopping at high-end stores when they are determined to treat us poorly.

    These stores, Barney’s Tiffany’s, etc. do not appreciate our money! –F–k them!!!!!!

    The color of everyones $$ is green If brick and mortar stores refuse to RESPECT US AND OUR $$$$-STOP SHOPPING AT THESE DAMN STORES!!!!!!!!

    Obviously, Barneys has not learned from it’s last lawsuit regarding discrimination!!!!!!!

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