Some US retail chains have sustained damage and had goods stolen amid protests against police violence against black people, but many have released statements supporting the protestors.
Peaceful protests and those that turned violent over the weekend following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis led to some retail chains including Target and Nordstrom shuttering stores after incurring damages.
Target has closed the Minneapolis branch near where Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, and said it aims to reopen the store “in late 2020”. The retailer has also closed stores in Oakland, Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia “until further notice”.
Nordstrom closed all of its stores on Sunday after some branches incurred damages. Despite closures and some cases of looting, both retailers have joined the retailers and brands including Nike and Apple in supporting the cause for the protest, rather than focusing on the losses in individual stores.
In a statement on its website, Target chief executive Brian Connell wrote: “We are a community in pain. That pain is not unique to the Twin Cities — it extends across America. The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts. As a Target team, we’ve huddled, we’ve consoled, we’ve witnessed horrific scenes similar to what’s playing out now and wept that not enough is changing. And as a team, we’ve vowed to face pain with purpose.”
In an open letter to employees posted on Nordstrom’s website, chief executive Erik Nordstrom said “the unnecessary and unjust killing of anyone must not be accepted. The issue of race and the experiences of too many people of colour cannot be ignored.”
Apple has closed some US stores amid protests and chief executive Tim Cook said in a memo to staff: “We have to re-examine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored. Issues of human dignity will not abide standing on the sidelines.”
Nike released a video in support of the protests, turning its iconic slogan on its head and saying ‘don’t do it’ in relation to racism and apathy.