The National Retail Federation commented on Tuesday on the incidents involving retail stores across the U.S., following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and called for leadership to end racial injustice.
The largest retail trade association in the U.S. equally asked people to stop looting and destroying property.
In a statement from president and CEO Matthew Shay, the federation said: “There is a real problem and divide in this country that we share the responsibility to address. It requires leadership in the municipal, state and federal levels of government, in our schools, our places of worship, our businesses and our homes, so we can work together — honestly, transparently and inclusively — to find solutions.”
Adding that: “defacing, looting and plundering businesses, whether viewed as a direct outgrowth of fury or an opportunistic act of vandalism and theft, impedes progress and healing.”
Protests turned to loot and property destruction over the weekend in places including New York and Chicago following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd was arrested on May 25, in response to an alleged forgery in progress. The African American man died at the hands of a policeman, who suffocated him by kneeling on his neck.
As a result, retail giant Target Corp said on Sunday it has shuttered stores across the United States, as fellow retailers like Nordstrom, Ray-Ban and Apple were broken into, in the Grove Shopping Center, in Los Angeles.
Target closed stores indefinitely in locations including Apple Valley, Bloomington, Maple Grove, Minneapolis Uptown, North St. Paul, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, Stillwater and Woodbury, among others.
Companies such as Apple, Whole Foods, and Walmart equally decided to close some of their stores in points hit by the protests.
“We must stand together to stop racial injustice. We must work together to create a greater understanding of the challenges faced by African American men and women, young and old, in communities large and small,” the NRF said.
“We urge people to stop looting and destruction under the name of protest. It denies access to goods, services and jobs for those who need help the most, and takes focus away from the conversation we must have if we are to heal these wounds — not with talk, but through action.”