Most grocery stores and pharmacy chains segregate their haircare aisles, with mainstream products front and center and a smaller section for “multicultural” haircare. However, few would keep the products we rely on locked behind a glass partition while products made for White customers remained out in the open.
Walmart, however, had implemented this anti-theft practice in dozens of their 4,700 stores; that is, until recently.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and increased social awareness for Black issues, many businesses are adjusting their policies to demonstrate their social responsibility.
In the past, the mega-chain acknowledged that certain, high-theft products were locked away to protect inventory. To access any of these products, customers would have to ask for employee assistance to unlock the case.
glitch in the upload. here’s the aisle pic.twitter.com/TrFPscYNDE— Tori Mason (@ToriMasonTV) June 10, 2020
Many shoppers perceived this to be an implication that Blacks were more likely to steal. They went to social media and even signed petitions to express their outrage. Even our editor-in-chief sounded off on this in April 2019.
And in 2018, a Californian woman sued the company in federal court for discrimination over the issue. Although the case was later dropped.
Walmart initially defended its policy, insisting that it was not about discrimination but about protecting items that are prone to theft. Luckily, the company has had a change of heart.
Did you stop shopping at Walmart over this anti-theft policy? And will you shop there now? Sound off in the comments.