A Lowe’s Home Improvement Store in Danville, VA did not send an African-American delivery driver on an August 3 delivery because the customer requested that the store not send a black man for the job.
Marcus Bradley, who is black, had already begun the delivery when he received a phone call in the truck telling him to return to the store because he couldn’t do the delivery. Bradley said he asked why he couldn’t do the delivery and was told, “Because you’re black and they don’t want you at the house.” When he returned to the store Bradley was replaced by a white driver. Alex Brooks, Bradley’s partner of almost 11 years, is white and was in the truck with Bradley when the call came. He was asked by the store manager to go out on the delivery with a white driver but he refused to be involved in the delivery, saying he wouldn’t go without Bradley. “I just don’t think it’s right for the store to go along with that [customer’s] wishes”, Brooks said.
This customer who didn’t want the black delivery driver is known to store employees for refusing to deal with any black employee in the store. When asked her side of the incident, the customer told reporters “I got a right to have whatever I want and that’s that.”
Bradley said he is saddened, shocked, and disappointed by the incident. “I thought Lowe’s would take up for me”, he said. However, he does not plan to quit his job. He has worked at the Danville Lowe’s for 11 years and stated, “I’m going to keep going to work like I’ve always done. But I would think Lowe’s would take it into consideration to think about what they’re doing next time.”
After hearing of the incident, Lowe’s issued a statement which read in part that under no circumstances should the request have been honored since it is inconsistent with the company’s core values of diversity and inclusion. “We did an immediate investigation”, it continued. “The three managers who had been part of that decision are no longer part of the company. We have zero tolerance for behavior of that kind.”
A spokesman for Lowe’s said a senior-vice president went to the Danville store to speak to the delivery drivers and to personally apologize to Bradley on behalf of the company. “We want to make sure our drivers know they have our full support”, the spokesman said.