- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 13, 2020

A clothing boutique in downtown Savannah, Georgia, is facing backlash after it waived an appointment fee only for its customers of color.

Since reopening during the pandemic, Civvies had been requiring customers to shop by appointment only, asking them to pay a $20 refundable deposit to reserve the space. Store manager Raine Blunk told WTGS that the store recently decided to waive the fee for “people who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.”

“These are just daily decisions about ways we can leverage our privilege and equity to help other people,” she explained.

In a now-deleted Facebook post announcing the decision, Civvies explained that if a customer is White and unable to pay the $20, to select they “don’t agree” on the appointment form and a booking manager would reach out to them and come up with other options, WTOC reported.

The store added that it would not accept appointments with White customers who refused to pay on principle, WTOC reported.

The policy was slammed on social media as racist, but Ms. Blunk likened it to “ladies’ night” or a “military discount.”

“We don’t believe that by saying that Black people, Indigenous people and people of color face racial inequities mean that all Black people, Indigenous people and people of color are poor or can’t afford a $20 appointment fee,” she said. “Simply that, we believe they have enough on their plate and might want to spend that $20 elsewhere.”

Now the store appears to have walked back the policy, deleting the original announcement from Facebook and apologizing for the offense.

“It was not our intention to act in any way that might be perceived as discriminatory and for that we apologize,” the owners wrote in a statement on Facebook.

On Instagram, the store said it had removed the controversial booking form “for now.”

Ms. Blunk said the store has stopped accepting new appointments as they figure out how to move forward, WTGS reported.

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