Furious Walmart customers post videos of stores locking up African-American beauty products

Lawsuit against the retailer claims that it is segregating products by the race of the people who use them

Mary Hanbury
Sunday 28 January 2018 13:46
Essie Grundy is taking legal action against the retailer over the decision
Essie Grundy is taking legal action against the retailer over the decision

Walmart is being sued by a customer alleging racial discrimination.

The customer who has filed a lawsuit against the retailer claims that it is segregating products by the race of the people who use them, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Essie Grundy was shopping for a comb in her local store when she found it was locked in a cabinet.

"That's when I noticed that all of the African-American products were locked up under lock and key," Grundy told reporters at a news conference on Friday, according to CBS.

Walmart said in a statement that it does "not tolerate discrimination of any kind."

"We're sensitive to this situation and also understand, like other retailers, that some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures," a Walmart spokesperson said.

Other customers have posted videos online, claiming that the store is inconveniencing African-American customers while leaving other products out in the open:

Certain products are locked in cabinets and can only be accessed by employees at the store:

One customer has publicly called for customers to boycott the store on Facebook.

Others have come to Walmart's defence, claiming that it only locks up products that are frequently stolen.

A store manager confirmed this and said that these products are kept under lock and key due to "high theft issues," and it is not a racist act by the company.

Walmart said:

"We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at Walmart. We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics, and are focused on meeting their needs while providing the best shopping experience at each store. We’re sensitive to this situation and also understand, like other retailers, that some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures. While we’ve yet to review a complaint, we take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court."

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