The nation’s largest retailer, Walmart, has announced a new policy this past Wednesday (June 10). Walmart says it will no longer store multicultural hair and beauty products locked in plastic security cases in any of its stores. The announcement comes shortly after a black woman in Montbello, Colorado, shared a video on social media displaying the different ways her local Walmart displayed hair care products for blacks compared to all other hair care products.
The video shows mainstream shampoos and conditioners commonly used by white people on display on open shelves, while products designed for black users’ hair are stored in locked cases. Walmart also said in the statement that most of its stores never did it in the first place, and that the practice was in place in about a dozen of their 4,700 stores nationwide.
“White privilege also extends to haircare products, apparently, in Walmart,” the woman says in the video. “There are black and brown people all over the place. The message is clear: We don’t trust you.”
Walmart says the locked cases were put in place to deter shoplifters, and that the retailer does not condone discrimination. In recent years, multiple customers have raised concerns for discrimination over ethnic products sold at Walmart, with a discrimination lawsuit set in place last year where the plaintiffs argued that storing black products in security cases implied black people were more likely to shoplift.
Feature Image via Forbes