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California Woman Files Lawsuit Against Walmart for Segregating Beauty Products

This Walmart kept 49 cent combs under lock and key.

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A California woman has filed a lawsuit against Walmart after the company locked up beauty products primarily used by African-Americans.

Essie Grundy of Perris, California has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the retail giant after finding that several products geared towards African-Americans were locked behind a glass display.

Grundy stated that she had to call a store employee to unlock the display to retrieve a product. “I couldn’t reach it,” Grundy says as she shared her experience with CBS Los Angeles. “I couldn’t touch it. I couldn’t read the ingredients.”

However, what Grundy calls her first racist experience in 43 years didn’t end there.

“After she took it from behind the glass, she had to walk it to the counter,” Grundy continued. “[The employee] gave it directly to the cash register, and then I had to pay for it, and then I was able to touch it.”

The products in question were not luxury items either; among the items behind the locked display were shampoos, conditioners, and hair dyes under $10, as well as a 49 cent comb that Grundy wanted to purchase.

Videos have surfaced on social media featuring other Walmart stores following a similar policy.

 

“We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at Walmart,” the company said in a statement to Business Insider in regards to the lawsuit. “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.”

Arianna is a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work. You can reach her at arianna@yogawithmimosas.com.

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