Kmart accused of racial profiling Indigenous activist: 'I'm disgusted'

·News Reporter
·2-min read

An Indigenous woman has called on Kmart to "do better" after claiming she was "racially profiled" at a Sydney store on Friday.

First Nations woman and Indigenous activist Alicia Johnson detailed the incident on social media, saying she was "disgusted" by the alleged treatment she received.

Ms Johnson was at the Marrickville store, in the city’s inner west, when she noticed a staff member carefully watching over her at the check-outs, she said.

First Nations woman Alicia Johnson
First Nations woman Alicia Johnson claims staff at a Sydney Kmart store 'racially profiled' her when she was paying for her items on Friday. Source: Instagram

"The service attendant was watching me very closely and then proceeded to check that I’d scanned a 30c bag. Which I did," she said in a video shared on TikTok and Instagram.

"She then grabbed my receipt and read it in front of everybody. She had not checked the receipts of anyone else … I asked the staff member in front of everyone, 'Why am I being checked?'"

At the end of the video, Ms Johnson demanded a "formal apology" from Kmart, and claimed the incident left her "humiliated" and in "distress".

"When I left that store I was in so much distress I called my mum who calmed me down, I should be treated with the same respect as everyone else. I asked the staff member in front of everyone 'why am I being checked'," she wrote in a caption on Instagram.

"A Māori lady then looked at me, she was hurt for me. She then insisted that the staff member checked her receipt in solidarity and equality. Thank you sister for standing with me"

Kmart responds to claims: 'Don't tolerate racism'

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Kmart said they are aware of the incident at the Marrickville store and are in conversations with Ms Johnson.

"We take reports like this extremely seriously and [we're] investigating internally and organising a time to meet with the customer," a Kmart spokesperson said.

Kmart store shop front
Kmart has responded to the claims and is working with the woman. Source: Getty

Kmart's official Instagram page also commented on the woman's Instagram video after being tagged in the post.

"We are disappointed that you left our store today feeling this way," they said. "We have shared our contact details in our direct messages with you. We do not tolerate racism in any form."

Ms Johnson said she is using her platform and her voice to "fight for change."

"I will continue to document this process and share with you all what the outcomes will be and the next steps @kmartaus will put into action," she said.

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