A Lowe’s executive is facing criticism over comments about some tools being more appropriate for Hispanic builders and installers.
During an in-house video for Lowe’s employees, Joe McFarland, the home improvement chain’s executive vice president of stores, said a compact power drill was “perfect” for Hispanic customers with small hands.
The Washington Post first reported the comments were made by McFarland during a prerecorded video presentation that was broadcast to Lowe’s employees. His comments were made as he was promoting a $99 DeWalt drill.
“It’s the DeWalt name, the No. 1 power tool for the pros, right? And that thing is compact and fits anywhere,” McFarland said in a video obtained by the Post. “Small hands, so those customers that really have an affinity towards Makita – some of our Hispanic pros with smaller hands – this is perfect for them.”
McFarland apologized Tuesday. He called the comment “careless and ignorant” and said the incident had brought about “a key reflection moment” for him.
Lowe’s recently said that it is laying off store workers who handle certain maintenance and product assembly tasks as the home-improvement chain continues to cut costs in a bid to boost profits.
The chain confirmed that it is “moving to third-party assemblers and facility services to allow Lowe’s store associates to spend more time on the sales floor serving customers.”
Contributing: Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko