Retail stores don’t like shoplifting.
That’s not exactly a groundbreaking statement, granted. But since we live in a world where up is now down, where right is wrong and where political correctness trumps basic facts, we’ll start with that.
At some retail stores, like Walmart, items that have a history of being routinely nicked from the shelves are often put behind protective cases to keep would-be shoplifters from making off with the goods. At the Walmart closest to me, it’s baby formula that’s kept inside a little plastic enclosure. Need some Enfamil? You’ll need to ask an associate for help. At the store nearest my parents’ home, it was razor blades and those teeth-whitening strips that go for about $40 a box.
And at about 4,700 Walmart locations across the country, it’s ethnic hair care products. Or, at least, it used to be.
In an effort to appease the perpetually offended, the massive retail chain now says they will stop putting ethnic hair and beauty products behind protective casing to keep from appearing “racist” toward minority women (never mind that the extra protection measure had nothing to do with the color of someone’s skin, but the fact that these items were being stolen at higher rates than other products, costing the company money).
The company is making the change to nearly 5,000 of its stores after one black woman in Denver complained that she felt discriminated against because the hair care item she was after was locked behind glass.
In the wake of the protests and riots that have swept the nation in recent weeks, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has said the retail chain, along with the Walmart Foundation, has pledged $100 million to create a new center on racial equity.
Walmart’s practice of keeping certain items behind protective casing has caught flak before – just not in the middle of a coast-to-coast political upheaval. Customers have complained – and even sued – over the issue in the past, accusing the company of racial discrimination and targeting by putting ethnic beauty products behind glass. The company has maintained that adding extra protection for items with a higher shoplifting rate helps protect the company against losing money and keeps prices low for their customers.