Cato Fashions Informative - Lack of Diversity in Southern Store
FLORIDA -- I live in a very small southern town where the population is less than 10,000 but we do have a Cato Fashions. The only other "major clothing" store in my town is the Wal-Mart Supercenter. If you can't find it in town you have to take a 45 minute drive to the closest major city.
As soon as my daughter became 16 she started searching for a job because she wanted to start saving money for college. One of the places she went in pursuit of employment was the local Cato Fashions despite the going rumors that the store refuses to hire African Americans. Much to my surprise the rumor ended up to be true. My daughter was initially told by the manager that the store was not hiring at that time but would be in the ear future so she would keep her application on file. For the next several weeks my daughter called and went by the store to check on the status of her application only to be put off and sometimes even ignored by the manager. I encouraged her to just keep checking until a position became available. I refused to believe the rumors of their "anti-black policy." My daughter continued to check on her application once per week by going to the store; often times she would be told we're still not hiring. But during that time two Caucasian females the same age as my daughter had been hired. After two months of this charade my daughter was so discouraged that I finally told her to stop going in to the store.
I wanted to be proactive and take a stand against this so I made an effort to contact the district manager of the store. She seemed very genuine at first but immediately became defensive when I informed her of my complaint. Her voice became loud and so intense that I was compelled to apologize for offending her with my complaint. She agreed that she was defensive because she was in charge of that particular store. She continuously denied the rumors about the store "not" hiring African Americans but she also did not attempt to recall when the last time an African American worked at that particular store.
When I calmly explained to her that regardless of her denials, I have been a life-long resident of the town and my only goal was to shed light on a problem at the local Cato store. She became even more angry and confrontational and said, "I'm sorry your daughter wasn't hired but I am from the south too and I know that manager of that store can not hire anyone without talking to me first." That said it all for me. I was calling the head to complain about the tail.
Word of advise, if you notice that there is a lack of diversity among the employees of an establishment, don't do business with them. You can take your money to them but you can't make your money with them.