This tragic tale reminds me of something of my own experience.
Back when I worked for the Great Big Research Company, I had a client who was VP of a large supermarket chain. One day, the local Chicago “city” newspaper (i.e. 99% Black readership) published a stinging exposé which showed that the chain’s suburban store prices were as much as a third lower than those of their inner-city stores.
Cue a visit from an irate “community organizer” (I don’t know which one, but I sure hope it was one Barack Obama) who demanded to see the VP, wanting to know why “his people” were being “gouged” by the (obviously) racial practice of discriminatory pricing.
The VP (a tough little Irish bastard from the South Side) then explained the facts of life to the “organizer”, thus:
“We’re in business to make a profit. Our inner-city stores have a lower profit than our suburban stores because of what we call ‘stock shrink’ — which is a nice name for ‘theft’, or ‘shoplifting’. Suburban stores typically have a shrink percentage of less than 2% — in other words, less than two percent of sales are lost each year to theft. In our inner-city stores, that percentage loss is over ten times as much — between 12 and 14 percent. We have to make up the lost sales and profits somehow, and so we put our prices up in those stores to make up the difference. If we didn’t put up the prices, the stores would have to be closed altogether. So,” he concluded, “if you don’t want your people to pay those higher prices or find the stores have closed, you need to tell your people to stop stealing from our stores. And that’s the end of the story. Was there anything else?”
This happened about thirty years ago. Nowadays, of course, he’d be imprisoned for
telling the truth being so racially insensitive.
I miss the old days so much…