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April 30, 2018

Coffee stains and dad sneakers go together like Jay and Bey, but this isn't the only common thread holding Starbucks and Balenciaga together. An incident at the Balenciaga store in Paris last week put them right in the conversation with Starbucks, and the treatment of minorities at their locations. 

"Balenciaga sorry over mistreatment of Chinese shoppers in Paris"

We won't go into much detail, you can read that in the link above, but basically a Chinese mother got upset (rightfully so) because 5 Albanians cut in front of her and her son while they were checking out of the Balenciaga store. Allegedly one of the Albanians pushed the mother and this is when the son jumped in. He then gets jumped by the 5 Albanians and afterwards is told to leave the store by the Balenciaga personnel.

Apparently losing a 5-on-1 match makes you unworthy of Balenciaga's respect or at least in this location. It should be noted that according to the BBC article: 

"Paris is a favourite European destination of Chinese travellers, who are a crucial market for luxury brands."

This is why the #BoycottBalenciagaDiscriminatesAgainstChinese on China's Twitter equivalent Weibo, is a major problem for the luxury brand. Similar to Starbucks, the hashtag protest is gaining a lot of traction and has already been viewed over 20 million times, along with this YouTube clip that shows the actual incident. 

The similarities between Starbucks and Balenciaga are explicitly meager. One sells luxury fashion priced at a somewhat high price point, while the other makes decent coffee, at nominal prices. However, both have questionable business practices and these are coming to the front.

In a day and age where transparency is no longer a choice but a viral camera phone clip away, what's done in the dark will come to light even faster. Consumers have more choices than ever and with outrage culture at an all-time high, it's important to remember that old adadge. Treat people how you want to be treated and if your selling them a product or service to them, it's probably a good idea to treat them even better. 

Sent from laptop, please excuse brevity (we just don't really feel like editing, you'll get the point...trust us). 

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