Boots accused of racism after only using security tags on 'black haircare' products

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Boots has been accused of racist double standards. [Photo: Getty]

A make-up artist has criticised Boots over an apparent racist double standard used when adding security tags to products.

The high street retailer sells a broad range of different health and beauty offerings.

Make-up artist Natasha Wright discovered low-cost products manufactured for black haircare at her local store, on Wembley High Road, were fitted with a security tag aimed at preventing theft.

Yet higher-priced items more tailored towards caucasian hair were left untagged.

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“Absolutely Disappointed in Boots, like Seriously YOU REALLY BUGGING OUT BOOTS!!!,” Wright wrote in a post on Facebook.

“As a person of colour it’s a wonderful thing when we can do a beauty shop all in one place, it makes you feel included,” she added.

“Now to all of you out there that don’t know the UK black hair industry is worth an estimated £88 million, with black women on average spending three times more than white women on hair care, so to be made to feel like second class citizens is an absolute travesty.”

Wright shared a video showing the disparity between the different products.

At the beginning of the video, she shows rows of haircare from popular brands tailored towards Caucasian hair, which don’t have security tags, but when she moves towards the labelled black haircare aisle the products are clearly tagged.

When contacted by Yahoo UK, a representative for Boots UK said: “We want to provide a safe, friendly and inclusive shopping experience for all of our customers and we take product security very seriously.

They added: “To prevent theft our colleagues in the communities they serve add security tags to the products they believe are being stolen, and do this regardless of what the product is, the cost of it, or which aisle they are on.”

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Earlier this year, Boots was under fire for its use of plastic bags to supply its prescriptions.

It started with a Twitter user, who goes by the username @redribbon226, calling out the high street pharmacy for dispensing her regular medication in “an oversized plastic bag”.

But Boots were quick to respond to the user, explaining the use of plastic is for safety and security purposes – and because it allows an “inspection window” to allow people to see its content.

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