Lululemon CEO stands by firing employees who reported robbery, says there is 'zero-tolerance' for employees 'engaging during a theft'

Policy prohibits employees from interfering with robberies for their own safety.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
CEO of Lululemon Calvin McDonald said on Friday that he stands by the company's decision to fire the two Georgia employees that called police on masked robbers last month, stating that their actions went against official company policy, New York Post reports

"We have a zero-tolerance policy that we train our educators [employees] on around engaging during a theft," McDonald told CNBC on Friday.

The policy claims to prohibit employees from interfering with robberies for their own safety. The employees are ordered to scan a QR code after the theft and essentially brush it under the rug, according to Lululemon's employee handbook.

McDonald told the network that the two employees were not fired because they called the police, but rather for going against the company's "zero-tolerance" policy which is in place "because we put the safety of our team, of our guest, front and center."

At the end of the day, "it's only merchandise," McDonald said.

"They're trained to step back, let the theft occur, know that there’s technology and there's cameras and we're working with law enforcement," he explained.

However, the viral video shows that the two former employees had engaged the thieves which resulted in their firing, the CEO said.

“We take that policy seriously because we have had instances — and we have seen with other retailers, instances — where employees step in and are hurt, or worse, killed. And the policy is to protect them. But we have to stand behind the policy to enforce it," McDonald said.

23-year-old Rachel Rogers, who worked as a store associate, recorded the robbery and said that the Peachtree Corners store had been the target of the same group of thieves for weeks, stating that they would consistently rob the store around an hour before closing, snatching merchandise from store fixtures closest to the door, then flee in their getaway car.

A spokesperson for Lululemon told investigators that four men who were wearing the same clothing had been responsible for robbing another Lululemon store in the Atlanta area the same week.

Ferguson, a mother of four, was seen in the video yelling for the group to leave the store, as the thieves swiped leggings from a store fixture and an accomplice held the door open.

The employees followed the group outside, not physically trying to stop them, and called the Gwinnett Police Department, whose officers were able to track down the red Subaru SUV used as a getaway car despite the suspects allegedly changing the license plate as they fled.

Bayo Allen, 19, Quintavious Gooch, 19, Braylon Shivers, 20, and Nicholas Lynch, 26, were arrested two days after the April 24 robbery, which was caught on camera, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. Shivers, Gooch, and Allen remain behind bars at Georgia’s Fayette County Jail.
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The green light to rob this store. Go for it.

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