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Little Rock, A.R. – Walmart will no longer place “multicultural hair care and beauty products” in locked cases in any of its stores, the company confirmed Wednesday. The retail giant stated that this policy was only “practiced in a dozen or so” or its 4,700 stores.
Like many other retailers across the nation, Walmart has become the target of criticism for store policies that can be perceived as “discriminatory” against people of color. In traditional practice, these “multicultural” products were under a locked case, which required a store associate to walk the item to the register for purchase.
In a report by CNBC, Walmart customer Judah Bell said the process is “humiliating” and is something she noticed at select locations across the country, usually in more “urban, less affluent areas.”
“In my neighborhood Walmart, you have to go find somebody and then if they don’t have the key, they have to find somebody, so you’re just standing there waiting, sometimes for as long as 10 to 15 minutes,” Bell said.
Walmart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez told NBC News that the company is “sensitive to the issue and understands the concerns” and would be implementing the change in policy “as soon as possible.”
“As a retailer serving millions of customers every day from diverse backgrounds, Walmart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Like other retailers, the cases were put in place to deter shoplifters from some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics, and other personal care products,” Lopez said.
And there you have it, the real argument, the substance to this absurdity. The locking or limiting the display of any product by a retailer is purposeful. More to do with the high theft of items than the color of skin. However, the notion that Walmart is discriminating against customers of color is a stretch.
Somebody, somewhere, within Walmart Corporate, noticed a high theft rate of these products, which warranted their stores to put them under locked cases. Like many Americans, I visit Walmart often. During my shopping experiences, I notice that I have to ask for a store associate to walk my razor blades to the register.
So, I ask, should I feel discriminated against by Walmart for being male and in need of razors to shave my face?
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