According to a report from KDVR, a Walmart store in Centennial, Colorado is under fire for purchasing policies that are making Black shoppers feel like a criminal when they attempt to purchase beauty products aimed at non-white customers.
The report states that a Black woman, identified as Rachel who lives in Aurora, went into the Centennial store where she proceeded to pick up shampoo "... in the aisle housing beauty products for people of color" only to be stopped by a clerk who said she couldn't carry with it her throughout the store and had to pay for it immediately at a checkstand designated specifically for that purpose.
Speaking KDVR's Aimee Lewis, Rachel stated she was "shocked" by the request and recalled, "I asked the sales associate, 'If I am purchasing Caucasian products, do I need to do the same thing?' She said, 'No, you can walk around the store with those products.' I told her I had more shopping to do, she said it didn't matter; I still needed to pay for it back there."
According to the report the store has sent up extensive security monitoring in the section containing the ethnic products while the aisle containing other beauty care products has a single closed-circuit camera.
The latest complaint about the big box retailer comes one year after Walmart started locking up what KDVR described as "beauty products for people of color at its stores."
Rachel said she will likely never return to the store, explaining, "Honestly, I was shocked, because this is 2021, racism and discrimination are still happening. It's either one or the other. You monitor all hair care products or you don't. It's not okay to point out one group,"
A Walmart spokesperson issued a statement saying, in part: "Like other retailers, we have policies in place that allow security for some items, such as cosmetics and other personal care products. In the case of this store, the entire section of products is under additional monitoring. However, we do not want those policies to create an unfriendly shopping environment for any individual customer ... We have followed up with the store to ensure those policies will be followed properly in the future, and to provide a welcoming environment for our customers."