Posted on February 8, 2019

Walmart’s Practice of Locking Up Black Beauty Products at Some Stores Raises Complaints

Janelle Griffith, NBC News, February 5, 2019

A Walmart store on Long Island, New York became the latest location of the retail giant to be accused of racial discrimination for keeping African-American beauty and hair care products in a locked, glass case.

After complaints — including one from a customer who alleged she had to wait for a store associate to unlock a product she wanted — the store in Riverhead has taken the items out of the locked case.

The company has been the subject of similar complaints in Virginia and California, where a woman filed a lawsuit against it last year.

In New York, Walmart initially defended its decision to lock up black hair care products at the Riverhead store, claiming it was data-driven.

“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,” the company said in a statement Jan. 31.

Walmart also said in the statement and in an interview with NBC News on Tuesday that it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind at its stores.