According to a Cincinnati WCPO report, Asheria Brown is dedicated to teaching her three daughters about their African American heritage. So when her eldest daughter spotted a Kid Connection doll set at the retail giant, she decided to search online for a Black version of the same doll set.
While at the store, “She picked out the white one, with all white little babies in the store,” Brown said. “So I went home and went to Walmart.com and found one set in white and one in Black.”
Woman finds a black doll set at Walmart costing $15 more than a white version of the same dolls. How does this still happen? https://t.co/r0zhnOyWCQ @WCPO @Walmart #Walmart #Target @NAACP @CAPTalksRace @ERSjournal #race
— John Matarese (@JohnMatarese) December 16, 2021
To her shocking discovery, the Black and white doll collections, with identical accessories and a number of individual dolls, were priced much differently.
“There are seven Black babies, and there are seven white babies,” Brown added. “But one set is $39.97; the other is $25,” Brown explained.
In a full statement provided to WCPO, a Walmart spokeswoman apologizes for the error.
“The price difference in the two items was the result of price changes made systemically. We lowered the price on a select group of toys, including only one of these dolls, to help drive sales. Unfortunately, we overlooked the impact these changes would have on similar items whose price did not change. This was an unintentional error on our part and we sincerely apologize to anyone it may have offended.”
This case isn’t rare. It isn’t the first time shoppers have found pricing discrepancies between white and Black toys. Nor is it the first time Walmart has apologized for their “unintended error” in pricing discrepancies.
In 2014, CNBC reported that a customer called out Walmart for an African American ice skater Barbie costing $2 more than the white version. After calling it a “pricing error,” Walmart corrected it immediately and vowed to make up the difference with gift cards to people who had paid the higher price when they purchased the doll.
The statement concluded, “Walmart is a firm believer of diversity and inclusion. As a company, we are investing resources and developing strategies to advance equity for all within our walls and society.”