Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh is asking customers to not bring guns into his stores.
Bergh, who is a former army officer, posted an open letter to customers on LinkedIn on Wednesday, asking that they not bring firearms into Levi’s stores, offices, or facilities, even in states where it is permitted by law, unless they are authorised members of law enforcement.
“With stores in Paris, Nice and Orlando, and the company’s European headquarters in Brussels, I’ve thought more about safety in the past year than in the previous three decades of my career because of how ‘close to home’ so many incidents with guns have come to impacting people working for this company,” Bergh wrote in the letter.
Bergh goes on to say that the store is not outright banning guns, with the reasoning that “a ban could potentially undermine the purpose of the ban itself: safety.” The retailer, he clarified, is making a “request not a mandate.”
“It boils down to this: you shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes or trying on a pair of jeans,” the letter concludes. “Simply put, firearms don’t belong in either of those settings.”
The decision follows a non-fatal incident in which a customer accidentally shot himself with his own firearm at a Levi’s store in Commerce, Georgia, Fortune reported.
When Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asked customers not to bring guns into shops in 2013, gun-enthusiasts threatened to boycott the brand. Other brands that have asked customers not to carry guns into stores include Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Target.
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