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Portland Grocery Store Under Fire for Locking Up Black Hair Products and Claims It Was ‘Data Driven’

A Black woman of Portland, Oregon, visited her local Fred Meyer and was stunned to allegedly see all of the Black hair care items sealed behind a Plexiglas case.

Fred Meyer, part of Kroger grocery store chain, faced major backlash after Sade Rivers felt the store was discriminating against Blacks. She noticed that only the hair care products labeled as “multi-cultural” were the only items in the aisle locked away in a case.

Fred Meyer

(photo credit: wikimedia)

“I understand they are a business, an organization,” she told KOIN6, “but when you are targeting a single race or ethnicity it’s not fair to everyone.”

Rivers entered Fred Meyer to shop for shampoo and conditioner, but instead walked out empty handed. She admitted that she could have asked “someone to open” the case, but wondered what may have come next.

“Will I be followed through the store,” the consumed asked. “Will they look at me and think ‘She is probably going to steal that so lets keep an eye on her?'”

A spokesman for Fred Meyers told the news station that they “welcome diversity” and stated, “At Fred Meyer, we periodically review items that require additional security measures. Decisions about product access in our stores are data-driven. We are a company that welcomes every customer who walks in our door. Additionally, we train our associates to embrace diversity and inclusion and want to show respect to every customer and one another.”

Rivers said there are better strategies for keeping the merchandise secure, as opposed to locking it away, and said she does not plan on shopping at the store again. She also slammed Fred Meyer for perpetuating hurtful stereotypes created to hinder the Black race.

“As a Black person you are always taught you have to be aware how people look at you, what you say, what you wear, what you look like, because other people perceive you and will judge you based on a stereotype,” the shopper added.

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