Walmart won’t lock ‘multicultural’ hair and beauty products behind cases anymore

A Walmart store in Chicago.
A Walmart store in Chicago. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Walmart is changing a controversial policy that’s previously seen some stores lock “multicultural” beauty products in cases.
The company said in a statement Wednesday that the practice is being discontinued.
“As a retailer serving millions of customers every day from diverse backgrounds, Walmart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind," reads Walmart’s announcement. “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.”
In the past, Walmart had said it was up to the managers of the respective stores to decide whether to place items in the glass cases, according to USA Today.
Walmart continued in Wednesday’s statement: “We’re sensitive to the issue and understand the concerns raised by our customers and members of the community and have made the decision to discontinue placing multicultural hair care and beauty products — a practice in place in about a dozen of our 4,700 stores nationwide — in locked cases.”
The discontinuation comes after the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, in police custody in Minneapolis, which led to anti-racism protests and calls for change throughout the United States and beyond.
A lawsuit against Walmart was filed in 2018 by an African-American woman, Essie Grundy, who said products marketed toward African-American customers were locked behind cases at the California store she visited.
The lawsuit was dropped in November, according to The New York Times. It’s unclear if a settlement was reached.

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