Walmart took the heat for a vendor’s racist product description that landed on the retailer’s website.
The vendor, identified as Jagazi, listed a netting hair weave cap on the Walmart website, describing the product’s color as “n***er brown,” according to Raw Story.
A screenshot of the slur went viral after being shared on Twitter, with several users demanding answers from Walmart.
I noticed that, too. How could they miss a description like that? I'm sure they'll be full of excuses.— Janice (@YEGlifer) July 17, 2017
I... I just don't know what the hell they were thinking. Apart from that it's okay to be massive racists in America these days— Luke M (@I_am_Lukem) July 17, 2017
I'm stunned. It's disgusting.— Oonagh (@Okeating) July 17, 2017
Wal-Mart is the worst. I been boycotting them for over a decade.— psylocke (@SheilaFrench20) July 17, 2017
Did they think they could just slip this through unnoticed?— Mrs. SMH (@MrsSmh1) July 17, 2017
I just asked a question: pic.twitter.com/xPawVxwQBB— Corijomama (@corijomama) July 17, 2017
After receiving an influx of complaints, the retailer removed the product from its site and explained that manufacturers and suppliers provide the product descriptions, and that particular listing had not been verified by Walmart before catching shoppers’ attention.
“We are very sorry and appalled that this third party seller listed their item with this description on our online marketplace,” spokeswoman Danit Marquardt wrote in a statement, according to the New York Post. “It is a clear violation of our policy, and has been removed, and we are investigating the seller to determine how this could have happened.”
While this is not the first time a retailer has found itself under fire for a third-party seller's actions, it's a bit baffling that a major retail giant like Walmart would not be meticulously on top of every listing that is displayed on its site as its reputation is at stake.
It should also be noted that the same product is listed on Amazon with one very important difference:
For context, amazon has the same cap listed minus a certain word. pic.twitter.com/mWpoA5E8ld— Travon Free (@Travon) July 17, 2017
In the future, businesses and site developers should consider introducing a function to prevent these incidents that red flags certain profane and offensive words, prompting the user to change it before being permitted to complete the upload process.
In the meantime, Walmart needs to work on a better vetting strategy for its vendors.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Mike Mozart Jeepers Media