Walmart Sued For Locking Up Certain Products In Store
Walmart is facing a discrimination lawsuit after a woman accused the superstore of locking up black hair-care products in glass, while other products were easily accessible.
According to NBC 4 Los Angeles, Essie Grundy is claiming that she was discriminated against on January 12 while shopping at a Walmart in California. The woman alleges that the hair and skin products designed specifically for African Americans were placed in a secured box that could only be opened by a store employee. She also said that after she got an associate to open the case for her, she was prohibited from touching any of the products until she had actually purchased them. Gundy also claims that in order to purchase them, an employee was required to accompany her to a register.
The customer said she felt like a criminal, especially since she just wanted to buy a 48-cent comb.
Essie said in a recent press conference, “It was something I had to stand up for. I would like the glass to go down, and for things to go back to the way it was, where it’s not segregated and everything is where everyone can get what they need.” Gloria Allred is the one representing Gundy, and according to her, a Walmart employee admitted that other customers have been complaining about the locked cases–but the decision to segregate black hair-care products was an order from corporate.
A spokesperson for Walmart insisted the company doesn’t tolerate racial discrimination, and retorts that these kinds of policies are in fact not implemented by corporate at all. That same spokesperson explained in a statement: “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.”