A Walmart in Long Island, New York, is under fire after locking Black hair care products in a glass case while allowing other hair products to remain on open shelves.
Shopper Patricia Fulford brought attention to the matter, telling CBS 2 it’s a case of “discrimination.” Fulford had to wait 10 minutes for a manager to arrive with a key just so she could select what she needed, and proceeded to question the policy.
“’I’m waiting for the key for shampoo and conditioner.’ I said, ‘But let me ask you, why are the black hair products locked up and not the white hair products?’ He said, ‘Um, um,’ and another associate said, ‘Well, people have been stealing.’”
Although Fulford understands the store locking up expensive merchandise, she cannot accept products priced from $1-$25 being protected in such a discriminatory manner.
“It’s just not right that I have to wait for a key to get shampoo and conditioner and my fellow shopper does not,” Fulford said.
Town council member Catherine Kent, a member of the Anti-Bias Task Force, met with upper management about the policy.
“They said this was based on data of theft in the store and we asked to see the data, and at that point she referred us to call 1-800-Walmart,” Kent said.
The store has since reversed the controversial policy.
“I would just like everyone to be able to go into Walmart and have the same shopping experience,” Fulford said. Watch the CBS report below.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.