I once had a supermarket client whose marketing director had a confrontation with a local Black community organizer. Basically, the issue was this.
The chain had supermarkets in both the inner city and the suburbs — but had a different price structure for the two groups. The inner-city (majority Black customer base) stores’ prices were as much as 25% higher on various items than those same items were sold at the suburban (predominantly White customer base) stores.
Of course, “Barack Obama”* was furious because Black people were paying more for products in their local stores than White people were paying in the suburbs. When he demanded that the chain change their pricing policy, the marketing director (a flinty little Irish guy, “Danny O’Neill”, himself from Chicago’s South Side) flat-out told him that the chain wouldn’t budge. As for the racism charge, O’Neill pointed out to Obama that while most stores in the suburbs had a “shrink” (stock loss by theft) percentage of about 0.75%, the inner-city stores’ shrink ranged from 3-5%. (To make things worse, their sole store on the North Side — with a 90% White customer base — had a shrink factor of only 0.5%, a number I’d discovered while preparing the data for this meeting.)
Of course, the higher shrink factor meant that those stores were less profitable — and, as O’Neill reminded Obama, the chain was in business to make a profit: ergo, the profit margins had to be raised to overcome the shrink. The meeting ended thus:
“So you’re not going to lower your prices in your city stores?”
“No. If we do, we’ll have to close the stores because they won’t be profitable.”
“But what am I going to tell my people?”
O’Neill was merciless. “Tell ‘your people‘ to stop stealing from our stores.”
I’ve told you that story so I can tell you this one.
Apparently, some idiot is suing** Wal-Mart for keeping various “Black” beauty products locked up behind glass doors, while their “White” equivalents are stocked on open shelves.
Would anyone care to guess why this is?
And if you answer “rayciss” or variant thereof then you have to go and stand in the corner wearing a DUNCE cap. And I don’t care if you find this punishment “hurtful”; you’re a dunce. As is the plaintiff, and as is the judge, if he doesn’t throw this silliness out of his court with a scornful laugh.
However, as Wal-Mart is no longer run by Sam Walton but by various lesser Waltons, the retail giant will probably cave lest they be accused of being Literally Worse Than Hitler or something.
And their profits will plunge, and I will utter a merry laugh because they’ll deserve it***.
*Yes it was in Chicago, but no, it wasn’t actually Future President Token.
**Note that “Shaniqua” has engaged the services of legal über-vulture Gloria Allred, whose presence is an infallible indicator that this lawsuit is a crock of shit.
***Irony Alert: note what’s for sale at Wal-Mart. I can’t make this stuff up.