‘It’s Only Merchandise’: Lululemon CEO Defends Firing Of Employees Who Confronted Thieves
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 7: Sears Canada CEO Calvin McDonald during a launch to sales associates of the retailers new branding and advertising campaign at their Yonge street location, November 7, 2012.
Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Lululemon’s CEO defended his company’s decision to terminate two employees who called the police as three masked men robbed their Georgia store location.

Calvin McDonald, the head of the Vancouver-based retailer, cited Lululemon’s “zero-tolerance policy” on engaging thieves when asked during a recent interview about the firing of Jennifer Ferguson and Rachel Rogers, a pair of workers who confronted thieves and called the police at their shop in Peachtree City, located in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy that we train our educators on around engaging during a theft. Why? Because we put the safety of our team, of our guests, front and center. It’s only merchandise,” he told CNBC.

When pressed, McDonald claimed that the employees were not fired for calling the police but because they broke company policy by “engaging the thieves across multiple points, including following them out of the store.”

Ferguson — who was an assistant manager — told NBC’s local affiliate 11Alive that when a robbery occurs, workers are told to “scan a QR code. And that’s that. We’ve been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people. We’re not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it.”

The robbery at the Peachtree City location is part of a trend of retail theft across the nation which has brought increased attention to the risks faced by employees, shopper safety, and rising prices.

McDonald admitted that “retail theft and shrink has been a growing topic.” The CEO stated that the company is investing under three “pillars”: training, technology, and working with law enforcement. 

“We take that policy seriously because we have had instances — and we have seen with other retailers, instances — where employees step in and are hurt, or worse, killed,” McDonald said. “And the policy is to protect them. But we have to stand behind the policy to enforce it.”

Four men have been arrested and charged after multiple Lululemon stores were ransacked around the Atlanta area, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

The public’s help and officers’ quick action sends a message to thieves that “you will not get away with it, and we have the court systems to support us as well to ensure that you’re tied up in it for a long enough time to where you’re not going to be committing these crimes in the future, at least not in our area,” said Lt. Chris Hyatt of the Peachtree City Police Department.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘It’s Only Merchandise’: Lululemon CEO Defends Firing Of Employees Who Confronted Thieves