It’s about time. Walmart announced it would stop locking up Black hair products, or beauty items they deem “multicultural.” The report first came from CBS Denver reporter Tori Mason, who tweeted that Walmart emailed her directly to say it would “discontinue places these items in cases.” This came after the retailer has been under fire for discriminating against people of color, locking only these products behind glass in 4,700 stores nationwide.
That means, if you need a deep conditioner or edge control, you’d have to call a store associate, who would unlock the case and take the product upfront to the register for you. This can be a pretty humiliating experience for all involved. 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,” said Lopez. “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.”
The excuse from retailers was always that these products are stolen more than others, just like many pricey razors are also locked up. Walmart confirmed to NBC News that the decision to place certain hair and beauty products in locked cases was based on theft data, and that it varied by location. Though it wouldn’t share this data.
Walmart isn’t the only retailer to lock up these products. Major chains such as Walgreens and CVS have been accused of the same thing. Let’s hope Walmart’s change will push others to follow suit.