IKEA Accused Of Racism At Hyderabad Store, Minister KTR Says “Appalling”

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IKEA has come under fire for alleged racist behaviour against an employee at its Hyderabad store

Hyderabad:

Amid an uproar over alleged racist behaviour by its Hyderabad store staff, furniture retailer IKEA has said that it “regrets inconvenience” faced by the complainants following a “mandatory billing protocol”.

The company, which sells ready-to-assemble furniture and home appliances, is under fire after journalist Nitin Sethi alleged that his wife faced racist treatment at its store. “Racist treatment at @IKEAIndia store in Hyderabad. Only my wife, from Manipur got frisked for goods she bought. No one else before us. And then all supervisory staff came to defend the racism. Great show from an ‘international store’. Cheers to another usual day. #racism,” Mr Sethi tweeted last night.

The allegation sparked strong criticism against IKEA, including by KT Rama Rao, Telangana minister and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s son. “This is appalling and absolutely  unacceptable IKEA India. Please ensure a proper apology is issued and more importantly educate, sensitise & train your staff to respect all your customers graciously Hope you will make amends asap,” he tweeted. 

Mr Sethi said that when they confronted the store staff with their complaint, they replied, “call police if you want, we will deal”. 

“I was one of the many who bought stuffs at @IKEAIndia Hyderabad today. but i was the only one whose purchased items were checked one by one. if this is not #racism then what is it? the senior staffs there were far from helpful. does @IKEA endorse such behaviour?,” his wife Akoijam Sunita tweeted.

As the tweets sparked angry responses, IKEA India responded with a Twitter thread, stressing that they condemn all forms of racism and prejudice.

“As a process, customers who self-checkout are requested for a final check before leaving the store to ensure the billing is correct and customers do not face any problems regarding double charging, repeat scanning of products etc,” IKEA India tweeted. “We remain committed to creating a better everyday life for the many people,” the furniture major added. 

Responding to the furniture major’s statement, Mr Sethi wrote, “So @IKEAIndia staff singled out to check only @akoi_Jam for her purchases, passed sarcastic comments and then its supervisors (muscle, security officials) told us off and dealt on side with the police only to ensure we do not face problems of double charging! Slow clap.”

Ms Sunita said she wouldn’t have flagged the matter if it was just a matter of checking. “kindly refrain from responding without reading properly. makes your company look more irresponsible and insensitive,” she wrote. 

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