- Walmart is being sued by a customer alleging racial discrimination.
- The customer claims that the store is intentionally locking up certain products that are made for African Americans.
- Walmart told Business Insider that it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and that the decision to lock up certain products is made on a “store-by-store” basis.
Walmart has responded to allegations that it is racially discriminating against its customers.
On Friday news broke that the store is being sued by a customer who claims that it is segregating products by the race of the people who use them.
The plaintiff, Essie Grundy, was shopping for a comb in her local store when she found it was locked in a cabinet: “That’s when I noticed that all of the African-American products were locked up under lock and key,” Grundy told reporters at a news conference on Friday.
Walmart immediately stamped out these allegations.
“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at Walmart,” a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider.
“Some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures,” the spokesperson said.
Despite this, some shoppers have called for a boycott of the store. In this video, a customer claims that all the African American products are locked up and Caucasian products aren’t.
“This is racial profiling at its best,” the customer says in the video.
Other shoppers have lept to Walmart’s defense.
A black woman in Southern California has filed a lawsuit against Walmart because the retailer locks up products that people steal. These often-shoplifted items happen to be black beauty products, so this woman is crying racism. https://t.co/DXatHpk840
— Patricia Dickson (@Patrici15767099) January 28, 2018
And claimed that it isn’t only African American products that are locked up.
Oh please, Walmart has a lot of items behind glass, in locked cabinets or with locked cables on them. It’s in my neighborhood too and I’m not crying about it.
— Denise AuBuchon (@denise_aubuchon) January 28, 2018
Here is Walmart’s full statement to Business Insider:
“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at Walmart. We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics, and are focused on meeting their needs while providing the best shopping experience at each store. 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. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures. While we’ve yet to review a complaint, we take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court.”