Melbourne IGA apologises over racist signage after backlash

·2-min read

A sign encouraging IGA staff in Melbourne to racially profile customers has been taken down, after it sparked outrage when it was widely shared online.

“If an African customer comes to the bottle shop presses [sic] the button for assistant immediately!” the sign at the IGA in Sunshine West read.

“Minimum 2 staffs in front while we serve Africans.”

Screenshot showing the sign taped to the monitor os a cash register.
The sign sparked outrage after it was posted online. Source: TikTok/ aliya7

The sign had reportedly been taped to a cash register at the IGA for three years.

'Completely unacceptable': Metcash

The manager of the store told the ABC he has taken the sign down and apologised for his actions, saying he put the sign up to remind staff to press the button for help if the store got busy, and shouldn't have singled out African customers.

"I've done the wrong thing for the public, we should not do like this," he told the ABC.

A spokesperson from wholesaler Metcash, which operates the IGA supermarkets in Australia, said the sign "is completely unacceptable."

"When we saw the video, we promptly took corrective action with the store in question, including immediate removal of the sign," a statement read.

"Training for store staff is also underway while we assess the matter to determine what further action is appropriate."

Joseph Romeo, Chairman of the IGA National Retailer Council, said this type of behaviour is "unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any IGA store across the country".

"As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting local communities across Australia, we are committed to ensuring ALL IGA stores and their employees continue to create a shopping environment where all are welcome and equal.

"IGA retailers across the country are shocked by this event, please be assured that this is a one off case that will be dealt with appropriately."

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