Coach, Kate Spade CEO dismisses broken windows in stores: 'Focus on the cause'

Coach, Kate Spade CEO dismisses broken windows in stores: 'Focus on the cause'
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The CEO of the company behind fashion brands Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman this week dismissed stores being vandalized during protests following the death of George Floyd, saying the focus should be “on the cause.”

Jide Zeitlin, the leader of the Tapestry company, on Wednesday spoke to George Stephanopoulus on “Good Morning America” about those frightened by looting and vandalism that has destroyed businesses.

“I focus on the cause. What is it that was the underlying issue that caused people to step out into the street to protest, to take the steps that they took?” Zeitlin, an African American man, asked.

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He added that physical destruction or missing merchandise can be replaced.

“In fact, the losses that we suffer there are minimal relative to the, frankly, the broader losses that society is suffering from and from the loss of life that so many families are suffering from. And that’s what’s key,” Zeitlin said.

Zeitlin’s remarks echo an emotional statement he released on Monday as stores across the nation faced vandalism amid the protests over the death of Floyd, racial inequality and police brutality.

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He said Tapestry stores in several cities were destroyed by protesters, including ones in Charleston, S.C., New York City, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Washington, D.C.

“My first thought was to our people. Thankfully all of our teams are safe,” Zeitlin wrote in the LinkedIn post.

“I then thought about those that had smashed our windows and taken handbags, and shoes, and dresses. What was going through their minds as they acted? Has our society truly left them with little to lose and few other ways to force the rest of us to come to the negotiating table? We can replace our windows and handbags, but we cannot bring back George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and too many others. Each of these black lives matter.”