Educate, sensitise, and train staff, says KT Rama Rao over IKEA's incident at Hyderabad store
After the allegation prompted criticism against IKEA, the ready-to-assemble furniture and home appliances company responded with a Twitter thread emphasising their condemnation of all forms of racism and prejudice.
Amid a backlash over alleged racist behaviour by its Hyderabad store employees, furniture retailer IKEA has stated that it "regrets the inconvenience" the complainants experienced due to a "mandatory billing protocol."
The allegation prompted criticism against IKEA, and following the same, Telangana Minister and Son of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, KT Rama Rao, tweeted, "IKEA India, this is appalling and completely unacceptable. Please issue a proper apology, and more importantly, educate, sensitise, and train your staff to respect all of your customers graciously. I hope you will make amends as soon as possible."
The IKEA, ready-to-assemble furniture and home appliances company, is under fire after journalist Nitin Sethi claimed that his wife was subjected to racist treatment at one of its stores. "Racist treatment at the Hyderabad store of @IKEAIndia. Only my wife from Manipur was frisked for the items she purchased. Nobody came before us. Then all of the supervisory staff showed up to defend the racism. Excellent performance from an 'international store.' Cheers to another ordinary day. #racism," Sethi tweeted on Sunday night.
When they confronted the store staff with their complaint, they were told to "call the cops if you want, we'll deal with it," according to Sethi.
"I was among those who made purchases at @IKEAIndia Hyderabad today. But I was the only one whose purchases were scrutinised one by one. What is it if this isn't racism? The senior staff were extremely unhelpful. Does @IKEA support such behaviour?" questioned Akoijam Sunita, Sethi's wife.
IKEA India responded to the tweets with a Twitter thread, emphasising that they condemn all forms of racism and prejudice.
"As part of the process, customers who self-checkout are asked to perform a final check before leaving the store to ensure the billing is correct, and customers do not encounter any issues such as double charging, repeat scanning of products, etc.," IKEA India tweeted. "We remain committed to improving people's daily lives," the furniture company added.
Sethi responded to the furniture major's statement by writing, "So @IKEAIndia staff singled out @akoi Jam for her purchases, made sarcastic comments, and then its supervisors (muscle, security officials) told us off and dealt side by side with the police to ensure we did not face double charging problems! Slow Clap."
Sunita stated that she would not have flagged the issue if it was simply a matter of checking. "Please refrain from responding without first thoroughly reading. Makes your company appear more careless and insensitive," she wrote.