If you’re still holiday shopping and want to make sure your LGBT dollars are going to companies with the best policies for its employees, one place to look is Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
It’s been out for awhile, but for the holiday shopping season, I’ve pulled out some highlights for local Dallas shoppers.
Let’s say you’re looking for something from a local department store. That’s a no brainer, because what’s more gay than Neiman Marcus?
Well, local and gay friendly? J.C. Penney for one. Plano-based J.C. Penney gets a 95. Neiman’s scores a miserable 15. In the 1950s, Jack Evans was once fired from the store because he was gay. They couldn’t do that now or they wouldn’t have a staff, but they also offer few protections and no benefits to their LGBT employees.
So if you’re counting out Neiman’s, what about the rest of NorthPark’s anchors? Macy’s and Nordstrom get 100 percent. Dillards? Not so much. 30.
If you’re shopping at the Galleria, the new Belk gets a failing 15.
Elsewhere in NorthPark
Abercrombie, American Eagle, Gap, Nike and Tiffany rate 100
Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren: 90
J. Crew: 30
Foot Locker, Donna Karan, Burberry, Guess, Urban Outfitters: 15
Ann Taylor, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Versace, Express, Skechers: These are the ExxonMobils of the mall that offer no protection and no benefits to their LGBT employees. And Versace was gay and so is Armani. I guess just because you’re gay (or built your retail empire on the reputation of someone who was) doesn’t mean you don’t say fuck you to those who work for you or your LGBT customers. If Armani just had a no-cost nondiscrimination statement that included sexual orientation and gender identity, he’d get a 15. Shame on him for not saying, “Of course we won’t fire our gay, lesbian and transgender employees.”
What about other local chains? Pier 1 and Radio Shack are both based in Fort Worth. Radio Shack: 30. Pier 1: 15.
Do the Dallas-based The Container Store or Michaels do better? Both rate a pitiful 15.
Shopping for the lesbian on your list may be easy this year. Home Depot gets a 90, but, across the street, Lowe’s only gets a 30.
Office Depot and Staples: 100 (Office Max: not rated)
Bed, Bath and Beyond go below: 30.
Big Lots: 15
Dollar stores aren’t all the same. Family Dollar and Dollar Tree rate just 30, while Dollar General gets a more respectable 70.
Both CVS and Walgreens rank 100.
Safeway (which owns Tom Thumb) gets 100.
Kroger rates 85.
Whole Foods could do better with a 75.
Central Market: 40.
Trader Joe’s: 30.
Aldi, Fiesta and my favorite local supermarket Rio Grande: not rated.