Woolworths accused of racially profiling shopper in viral confrontation

The fed-up woman claimed she'd experienced racial profiling numerous times at the Queensland supermarket.

An Indigenous woman claims she's been racially profiled at a Queensland Woolworths supermarket after a staff member accused her of stealing items from the store.

The First Nations woman shared the allegations in a TikTok video that's received over 385,000 views since Saturday, saying this isn't the first time she'd experienced racial profiling at the Woolies in Gracemere, near Rockhampton.

Woolworths shopper showing contents of pocket; Woolworths employee
An Indigenous woman captured the moment a Woolworths employee accused her of stealing. Source: TikTok/mahleekii

"The last time they checked our bags and still accused us," she wrote in an accompanying caption, recalling the embarrassment of the previous situation. "Cars driving past, yelling black and so & so!"

In this latest incident caught on video, a Woolworths employee confronts the woman about stolen chocolate as she and her family are leaving the store. The accused shopper remains calm and empties her pockets to reveal she wasn't concealing any stolen goods.

"Look. Look at my pocket," she says to the staffer. "The only thing I put in my pocket was the change. This is the third time I've walked through here and been accused of something. I don't have any chocolates on me. We got a receipt for what we paid for."

"Yep. No worries," the Woolies worker says before turning to walk away as the innocent woman requests an apology. The employee then turns back and says matter-of-factly: "Terribly sorry."

The video has prompted an outpouring of support from around the country, with thousands of viewers condemning the Woolworths employee's behaviour and commending the TikToker's cool response. "That apology was disgraceful! You were an angel dealing with that," commented one viewer.

"You handled that like an absolute champion," agreed another supporter, while someone else admitted, "You handled that waaaaay better than I would have."

Others tagged Woolworths, demanding the company take action. "Do better," urged one commenter. "I refuse to shop at Woolworths," shared another woman. "Both my nan and mum also no longer shop there as they have been accused numerous times."

Woolworths responds, launches 'internal investigation'

In a statement to Yahoo News, Woolworths confirmed they are investigating the incident and are attempting to contact the customer in question.

"We are concerned about the incident as this is not the shopping experience we aspire to provide," a spokesperson for the retailer said. "We take customer feedback of this nature very seriously and have commenced an internal investigation."

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