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Anthropologie responds to allegations it has a code name for black customers

Some people claim the company encourages racial profiling in its stores.
The retailer took to Instagram on Wednesday to address allegations.Gado / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

After people accused Anthropologie of encouraging racial profiling in its stores, the retailer is speaking out.

On Wednesday, Anthropologie issued the following statement on Instagram: "We support and stand with the Black community. ⁣⁣You may have seen that we have been challenged to be more transparent, unbiased, and fair in our stores and with our business practices. We want to clearly lay out our policies regarding these matters and share them with you."

The company has faced criticism in recent days after sharing a series of social media posts in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. When the retailer shared a Maya Angelou quote about diversity last week, many people commented that the post felt forced. Some shared their own experience with discrimination in Anthropologie stores.

"I’ve been followed in your stores before," one Instagram user wrote.

Others claiming to be former employees said that they had been asked to follow people of color around the store and that black customers were given the code name "Nick."

"How are you going to stop racially profiling your 'Nickys'? I worked at Anthropologie and the racial profiling was sickening," another person wrote.

On Blackout Tuesday earlier this month, Anthropologie shared the following message: "We’re listening. We’re learning. Today, in support of our community, all Anthropologie stores are closed."

Later in the week, the retailer posted a follow-up message and announced a few actions the company is taking to combat racism, including cultivating a more diverse workforce.

In its Instagram post on Wednesday, Anthropologie denied claims of racial profiling and said the company has "never and will never have a code word based on a customer's race or ethnicity."

The statement received mixed reactions. While some customers applauded the company for its efforts, others said it wasn't enough. Some people even vowed to stop shopping at Anthropologie.

TODAY Style reached out to Anthropologie for additional information but has not yet heard back.