Multnomah County

Fred Meyer locks 'multi-cultural' hair products in case

Fred Meyer said product-access decisions are 'data driven'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Recently, Sade Rivers walked into the Fred Meyer on Northeast 102nd looking for shampoo and conditioner. Instead of crossing the items off her shopping list, she left the store empty-handed, feeling not only singled out but discriminated against. 

Products categorized as "multi-cultural" were locked behind a case.

"Even if I was to ask for someone to open it, now will I be followed through the store," Rivers said. "Will they look at me and think 'She is probably going to steal that so lets keep an eye on her?'"

Rivers, as an African-American woman, said the store's actions play into a stereotype and cause a pain she's all too familiar with. 

"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," she said. 

When asked if locking up selected products is a company-wide practice, a Fred Meyer spokesman released this statement. 

“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 believes there is a better way to keep store products secure. She suggested more cameras as an option. Regardless, she said that's the last time she'll be shopping at Fred Meyer. 

"I understand they are a business, an organization," she said, "but when you are targeting a single race or ethnicity its not fair to everyone."


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