Walmart to end practice of locking up 'multicultural' personal care products
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Walmart will end its long-criticized practice of certain stores locking personal care products marketed to African Americans in glass cases on shelves, the company announced Wednesday.

“We’re sensitive to the issue and understand the concerns raised by our customers and members of the community,” the company said, adding that about a dozen of its locations lock up so-called multicultural hair and beauty products, according to USA Today.

Walmart has previously defended the practice as being at the discretion of individual store managers and said stores lock up items they deem more likely to be stolen.


“As a retailer serving millions of customers every day from diverse backgrounds, Walmart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” the company said. “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.”

Essie Grundy, a Riverside County, Calif., woman, sued the company over the practice in 2018 under the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bars businesses from discriminating against customers based on race. "Essie has no criminal history, she has no intention to steal anything,” famed women’s rights lawyer Gloria AllredGloria Rachel AllredBannon and Maxwell cases display DOJ press strategy chutzpah Family of dead woman sues Los Angeles police officer for allegedly fondling her body Walmart to end practice of locking up 'multicultural' personal care products MORE, who Grundy retained in the case, said in a statement to Glamour in 2018. “The fact that she should be treated as a potential criminal is just wrong."

Grundy’s case was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice in November 2019, and Allred told The New York Times “the matter was resolved.”

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 and the protests that swept the nation in the following weeks, numerous large corporations have reassessed policies and practices that have long been criticized as racially insensitive. NASCAR announced Wednesday that it will ban displays of the Confederate battle flag at events, while gay dating and hook-up app Grindr will remove its ethnicity filter.