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Walmart’s anti-racist gesture: Shampoo for blacks unlocked

The American retail chain Walmart has announced that it will no longer only offer cosmetic and beauty products that are specially designed for black people behind locked glass display cages. This anti-theft practice will be ended, Walmart said on Wednesday.

Published: June 12, 2020, 9:05 am

    According to a New York Times report, there had previously been criticism of the measure. While general cosmetic products for white consumers in the chain’s stores have been freely accessible on the shelves, those that are specifically for African-Americans – such as shampoo and conditioner – were in locked showcases that had to be unlocked by an employee before buying.

    A lawsuit against discrimination had already been filed against this in the past, but the proceedings were terminated. At the time, Walmart justified the measure by stating that the products were kept under lock and key because they were statistically more frequently stolen.

    But this has now changed. Previously, the television station CBS 4 in Denver had shown a report in which a black customer complained about the special arrangement.

    “As a retailer serving millions of customers with different backgrounds every day, Walmart doesn’t tolerate discrimination,” said a Walmart spokesman to the New York Times. “We are aware of the problem and understand the concerns of our customers and society. We decided to stop storing multicultural hair care and beauty products in locked showcases – a practice that has been used in about a dozen of our 4 700 stores across the country.”

    Meanwhile, the German sportswear manufacturer Adidas is also responding to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. The large corporation announced that it would fill 30 percent of the new vacancies in the US for the brands Adidas and Reebok with blacks or Latinos. The company also plans to fund programmes to support the African American minority in the United States.

    In many supermarkets in Germany and France, it is now commonplace that spirits or tobacco products are kept on lockable shelves.

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