I am banned from a dollar store because I’m a white female in my 20’s.
Two years ago, I moved into the Stinson neighbourhood, an up and coming area just outside of the downtown core. I am a firm believer in supporting local business and have been doing so, problem free, up until now when I had the most unpleasant experience at the Great Canadian Dollar Store, 447 Main St. E.
Within the past two weeks, I purchased many items from this store to get me started in organizing my home office. Nearing completion of this project, I popped down to this dollar store to buy some labels and a ruler. I found these items quickly in the first isle and had been in the store for less than one minute when a man approached me, snatched the items from my hand and ordered me to leave. I was told that I was banned from the store because he had video camera pictures of me “causing trouble”. I requested to see these pictures because I knew I had never done anything wrong. He pulled out a binder and flipped through dozens of surveillance still shots. He stopped at one to show me; a picture of a girl in her twenties with a similar build. I pointed out the differences in appearance, my short black hair, her long hair with blonde streaks. He slammed the book shut. Mohammed, as he identified himself, said “I’m not accusing you of being a shoplifter but I have pictures of girls causing trouble. You make me feel uncomfortable so I am telling you to leave.” My call to the customer representative in head office, Victoria, B.C. offered apologies but confirmed that Mohammed was the store owner and had the right to order me out. If Mohammed bans the paying customers like me from the premises, he won’t be in business long. I will find other businesses to support. I wonder though, what will happen to all the females like me, a fully employed home owner, who wish to make purchases in Hamilton establishments if all the stores exercise their prejudices against groups of customers without reason?