- Walmart is being sued by a customer alleging racial discrimination.
- The customer claims that the store is intentionally locking up certain products that are made for African Americans.
- Other customers have posted videos of these locked cabinets online.
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 to Business Insider 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:
.@Walmart Do you want to explain why one of your stores has locks on ONLY the black hair care products?
In case you weren't aware, this is racist and wrong. pic.twitter.com/T59cjr1bbT
— Detrick Manning (@DetrickManning) January 25, 2018
Certain products are locked in cabinets and can only be accessed by employees at the store:
If Walmart is gonna lock up hair products they need to do it for all of them not only the ethnic hair products pic.twitter.com/XcnajuNNsV
— SophsticatedBitterQueen???? (@Kadia2_) January 22, 2018
This video shows how certain hair products geared towards African Americans are being singled out:
One customer is calling for customers to boycott the store.
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.
Here is Walmart’s full statement to Business Insider:
“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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