Dear Weis Markets

Dear Mr. Brua,

A few weeks ago I was in a Weis Markets store in Hagerstown, MD. I noticed that there was new signage all throughout the store. When I turned the corner to enter an aisle labeled “international foods,” I saw a section in that aisle labeled “African American.” I was immediately upset by this. A picture I took during that visit is attached to this email.

In general, I am very concerned about the ignorance Weis markets demonstrates by this type of signage. First, African Americans are in no way “international.” By definition, they are Americans and fellow nationals. Secondly, the whole aisle demonstrates a lack of understanding about world geography. For instance, “Italian” has it’s own section right next to “European” — although Italy is in Europe.

I request that Weis Markets removes the African American label from the International Foods row in all of its stores. I also recommend that the company attempts to organize its products based on the product rather than stereotypical associations to nationalities. Weis’ current approach using stereotypic labels does more harm than good.

I have and will continue to post about this on my personal blog, facebook space, and to third party sites that feature poor and unthoughtful marketing techniques. I hope that Weis Markets takes action on this item so that I can follow-up with positive comments about how the company responds to their customers. Until then, you have lost my business and the respect of many who, like me, do not believe that stereotypical labels are helpful or productive.

Sincerely,

Leslie Gates

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(You too can email Ken Brua at kbrua@weismarkets.com)

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