VW, I worked at IL Dept of Human Rights for along time and I wholeheartedly disagree. By your own words, we (cyclists) are not a protected class, therefore cannot claim "disparate impact". The store's policy may be inconvenient but it certainly is not discriminatory.
My name is Angelique. I work in the Pete's Fresh Market corporate office. I received an alert about your concern and wanted to openly address it. First, let me tell you that I am thankful for your choice to shop with us. After all, you are the real reason why I am here (smile).
Know that the family owners of Pete's Fresh Market respect and value customer feedback. Yes, we do have a no backpack policy. It is for the safety and security of our employees and customers. Our backpack policy is not a new policy for any of our store locations. Our Madison & Western store experienced a spike in unfavorable activities over the last year. To thwart some of those activities, the decision makers within our organization have made sure that protocols are in place and routinely adhered to by company personnel. Know that our backpack policy is non-discriminatory. It stands for all customers, not just cyclists.
While checking a backpack with customer service may be an extra step during your quick trip, I can confidently share that, to date, there have been zero customers complain about items missing upon retrieval after shopping. I share that simply to say, that while it is impractical, you can look on the bright side, you have absolutely nothing to worry about while you shop - hands free shopping!
We welcome you, along with any of our other customers to contact our customer service department directly about additional concerns while shopping. Send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at 773-733-7332.
Allow me to reiterate, we are truly here for and because of you. We hope to hear back from you!
Pete's Fresh Market | Customer Service
I also appreciate your response, and while I understand the reason for your policy, I will not shop at your store due of it. When biking, I keep my valuables, including my wallet - which I need for payment - in my backpack. Asking me to leave my backpack at the front is equivalent to asking me to leave my purse at the front. I will therefore choose to patronize other stores instead.
Do you not do this at any other store where they ask you to? including bike shops, thrift shops, clothing shops, book shops, etc? I'm honestly baffled by why people think this is such a problem or that employees are interested in stealing your things.
I've never had a store ask me to leave my backpack with them while I shop. If I did, I would probably leave.
tons of thrift stores and book shops do it.
I've had quite a few places ask me to do this through the years so I haven't ever questioned it. Just figured it makes it easier and I can pick it up when I am done.
Ooh. I was wrong.
For what it's worth Trader Joe's also permits backpacks and bike bags in their store.
But the customer base of Pete's, compared to Mariano's and Trader Joe's, is pretty different. And the neighborhood of Madison and Western is pretty different from Damen and Chicago. Pete's policy doesn't feel very outrageous to me.
Perhaps "inconvenient" is a better term to describe Pete's policy, as "discriminatory" is a term of legal art, and is best reserved for those attempting to skirt equal protections of the law. That's the whole purpose of requiring a "protected class" when making a claim of discrimination.