CVS joins Walmart in keeping multicultural beauty products out of locked cabinets


FILE PHOTO: A logo of CVS Health is displayed on a monitor above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) – Drugstore chain CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) joined Walmart Inc (WMT.N) in announcing it will stop keeping beauty and personal care products designed for people of color in locked display cases, after the practice drew criticism online.

In the wake of nationwide protests in the U.S. against police brutality and racial inequality following the death of African American George Floyd last month, several companies have issued statements in support of the black community and set up funds to fight systematic racism.

The change in policy at both companies comes after a Walmart customer complained the practice of locking up items that cater to people of color was discriminatory.

“We have a firm-nondiscrimination policy that applies to all aspects of our business and our product protection measures have never been based on the race or ethnicity of our customers,” CVS said in an emailed statement on Friday.

The drugstore chain said it had expanded its selection of products in its textured hair and color cosmetics categories by 35% over the past year to add new brands that appeal to communities of color.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) also said it is currently ensuring multicultural hair care and beauty products are not stored behind locked cases, which has been the case at a limited number of its stores.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph, Aishwarya Nair and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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