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Walmart is being sued by Essie Grundy for discrimination after the retailer allegedly placed African-American hair products inside a locked case, while similar products marketed to non-black folks were easily available.

Famed attorney Gloria Allred is representing the California woman and they held an afternoon news conference Friday.

“It was something I had to stand up for,” said Grundy. “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.”

Grundy said she was discriminated against at a Walmart located at 1800 N. Perris Blvd. in Perris on Jan. 12. According to her lawsuit, when she went inside the store to buy beauty products she was startled to find the items used by African-Americans “segregated” and monitored by security cameras.

The mother of five also claims she was not allowed to touch the lotion she wanted to buy until she purchased it. Grundy felt like a “criminal,” as customers watched her being escorted to the front cash register, not allowed to hold the product herself. The employee who accompanied her to the checkout lane revealed that Walmart’s discriminatory practice was a directive from corporate, Allred said at the news conference.

Walmart responded to the claims by saying it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

“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,” a spokesman said.

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(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

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13 thoughts on “Walmart Sued For Locking Up Black Hair Care Products In Glass Case

  1. Facts aren’t racist. The facts are blacks do not think stealing is wrong and Walmart has the losses to prove it. They can run their business in a profitable way including locking up high theft items. Blacks do not support black owned businesses, they steal from them too. It all starts at home, if you do not instill values in the children this is what you get.

  2. Oh this is an easy one just go out to the Wal-Marts in the upscale parts of town and ask WHY they don’t need to lock up AA hair care products, cause I’ve noticed the WM super store where I shop has NEVER had to secure such items but then it’s not located in the GHETTO, Oh snap they don’t have to lock-up the Ms. Clairol ether

  3. Preasie Lebron on said:

    Just because it’s African- Americans products doesn’t mean African-Americans are stealing it, I know a couple and they are Caucasian and they sell African-Americans product in my neighborhood, so i guess African-Americans not the only one stealing after all!

    • African American Woman on said:

      I dont see where anyone alluded to the race of the shoplifters, however, if these products are being lifted at very high rates, then Wal-Mart has to secure them.

    • Mac Daddy on said:

      You make absolutely no sense. I know a couple that is Asian and they sell weave in a all black neighborhood. They don’t wear it, only sell it to blacks that aren’t resourceful enough to start their own business. No whites or Asian steal from them, but guess who does…..

      • When I said, I know a couple and they are Caucasian and they sell African-Americans product in my neighborhood, I meant to say they knock on people doors and walk down the blocks with the products selling the products, you tell them what you want from a store and they steal it and sell it to you, I know African-Americans steal but their not the only one stealing these product, you can sell African-American anything they don’t care if it’s stolen, so if African-American are stealing like crazy and other people also stealing these product because they know they would buy them if you give them a deal of course African-American products will have a higher rate of stolen products!

  4. Mac Daddy on said:

    They have the data that proves these products are shoplifted at a much higher rate than non secured items. There are no white, Asian, or Hispanic customers shoplifting these products, so who is shoplifting? Who should we be mad at for increased prices so stores can recover theft? Hint: her name begins with Shen and ends with quia.

  5. African American Woman on said:

    This is a shame, but if Walmart can prove that those items are shoplifted more frequently than the other products, what are they supposed to do? I noticed many stores lock up baby formula, expensive electronics, etc…

    • “The employee who accompanied her to the checkout lane revealed that Walmart’s discriminatory practice was a directive from corporate, Allred said at the news conference.”
      This article is vague and so the comments referring to the demographics of shoplifting these products are based on conjecture.Did the HQ in AR have statistics showing that these items were shoplifted at a higher rate than others in the category? Is it just in that CA store? I’ve shopped at numerous Wal-Marts in various states and no such discrimination in display existed in any of them,including those located in communities with a large minority clientele.

      • African American Woman on said:

        I hope Wal-Mart can provide more information and some numbers…what she said that an associate told her is hearsay and cannot be confirmed. There are 4 Wal-Mart’s within 30 miles of me and all of them have certain merchandise that’s locked up…I’ve seen perfume, skincare products, baby formula and electronics…why is no one questioning these items? My thought is if items are being stolen at high rates,the store has every Right to protect themselves.

      • Thank You, people just jump straight to their racist comments, 1.GHETTO 2 .Only sell it to blacks that aren’t resourceful enough to start their own business. 3. Hint: her name begins with Shen and ends with quia. It’s funny how people is so racist and Afraid of African-American but when they want to open up a business or sell things to African-Americans their not afraid or racist anymore or when African-American become famous you can’t keep the other race away. African-American need to do better by each other support black business!

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