Victoria’s Secret said Thursday that an employee who forced all black customers to leave an Alabama store after a shoplifting incident Wednesday is no longer with the company.
Kimberly N. Houzah, a traveling nurse who says she is a frequent customer at Victoria’s Secret, recorded an 11-minute Facebook Live video as the incident happened at the Quintard Mall in Oxford, Ala.
According to Houzah, employees at the store caught one black customer shoplifting. In response, store management told the remaining black customers in the store that they had to leave, according to AL.com.
Houzah’s video shows her crying after she leaves the store, and exchanging information with a third black customer who was also asked to leave.
In a post on its Facebook page, the company said that what happened does not represent the company or what it stands for. The company said it had reached out to Houzah personally to apologize for the incident.
“We take the experience of our customer at the Quintard mall very seriously and have reached out to her directly to express our sincere apology,” the company wrote. “What happened at our store should not have happened and does not represent who we are or what we stand for. The store associate involved in this matter is no longer employed with the company. Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers regardless of race be treated with dignity and respect at all times.”
According to AL.com, Houzah returned to the store Thursday along with supporters, and she received an apology from store employees.
“I’m a little more settled about it today,” Houzah said. “I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone. I mean, I can’t change who I am. I’m an African-American female and I just want to be treated like everybody else.”
Houzah told AL.com that although she will likely continue to shop at Victoria’s Secret, she may not return to the Quintard Mall location again.