Primark has been accused of ‘rewarding’ a racist customer accused of telling a Muslim shop assistant ‘I don’t want to be served by black people’.
Do Na Marie was at the Westfield Stratford City branch of Primark in east London with her daughter. She witnessed the alleged incident and is now encouraging people to boycott the budget clothes chain.
In a Facebook post, she says she heard the customer make the racist comment to the female member of staff. All other staff members working on the tills in the shop were ‘black also’.
She wrote: ‘The manager who was white came over and told the customer “you didn’t have to say it like that” and took her clothes items and served her personally.
‘Many of the customers queuing were also black and were shocked the customer was given express service after racially abusing the staff member.’
Do Na Marie has since launched a complaint against the brand, with several others supporting her call to complain to the store.
The Twitter account for the Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) campaign – that Don Na Marie is reportedly a member of – has added its voice to her fight.
It tweeted: ‘A race hate crime took place and was endorsed by the manager, disregarding black and Muslim staff and customers and either no regard for race law or policies.’
The organisation said it was supporting its member in her complaint and urged people to ‘support the black staff at this store’.
But a spokesperson for Primark said their own investigation found ‘no evidence’ of racist comments made.
In a statement, the company said: ‘We have investigated this allegation, which included speaking to all employees involved, and found no evidence of any racist comments made in our Westfield Stratford store.
‘The customer was moved from the exchange/refund queue to a sales till in order to pay for her goods.
‘Primark does not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind.’
The store has since faced a backlash on Twitter because of its response, including from other customers who witnessed the incident.