Target is under fire after a viral picture showed only the darkest shades of Elf Cosmetics foundations marked with anti-theft stickers.
A Twitter user shared the since deleted post earlier this week in a tweet aimed at the retail giant that garnered more than 16,000 retweets.
The photo showed rows of foundations ranging several skin tones, but four of the darker tones were covered in stickers reading, ‘This item is electronically protected.’
A viral photo shows a row of Elf Cosmetics makeup in a unidentified Target where only the darker foundation shade are marked with anti-theft sticker
‘Any reason you only put these anti theft devices on the darkest shades,’ the user wrote while tagging Target’s Twitter account.
The user told Daily Dot that they did not take the photo themselves, but initially saw it on Facebook and decided to re-post it.
It is unclear where this Target store in question is located.
Angry shoppers have taken to Twitter to accuse the retailer of profiling their shoppers and implying only the darker skin shades are being stolen
Since it reached Twitter, the photo has sparked an array of reactions with outrage taking the lead among users.
One user wrote on Thursday: ‘Are they implying dark skin shades are the only ones being stolen?’
One woman pulled Walmart said she saw something similar on black hair products.
‘I’m about sick of Target and Walmart with the subliminal shade I peeped the anti theft devices on ONLY black hair products as well,’ she said.
One user questioned the store’s leadership in regards to such an alleged oversight.
They wrote: ‘Whaaaaat the f***. I actually rarely see anti-theft stickers on makeup at all, let alone slapped on like that. That does not look like an actual decision made by leadership
This woman says she noticed a similar incident with black hair care products in Target and Walmart
Others questioned the store’s leadership saying, ‘I actually rarely see anti-theft stickers on makeup at all, let alone slapped on like that’
Two women who reportedly worked at American Eagle pointed out that teenage girls tended to steal the most items in their experience.
One said: ‘When I worked at AE the people who stole the most were white teenage girls and then they cried when we approached them.’
For the many angered replies calling Target out for racial discrimination, there were also people who attempted to explain away the incident.
Users hit back at Target by sharing their experiences working at other stores and pointed out some thefts are not solely people of color
A man pointed out that the decision to put anti-theft stickers on products may be done by inventory software, not human decision.
‘In all likelihood, a decision to place theft-deterrent devices on items is not made by a human, but is generated by an inventory management software system that…,’ he said.
This man suggested the decision to place anti-theft stickers was actually the fault of ‘inventory management software system’
Others chalked it up to those shades simply getting stolen the most.
‘They put anti-theft devices on the items that get stolen the most. So those shades are the ones getting stolen,’ a woman said.
Another chimed it: ‘Well maybe it’s actually because that’s the shades that are being stolen?’
Some users suggested that those shades were simply the ones getting stolen the most
This woman said: ‘They put anti-theft devices on the items that get stolen the most. So those shades are the ones getting stolen’
In an entirely different reaction to the viral photo, other users joked about Elf’s cheap prices and how stealing it was ‘basically free.’
Some Elf products are sold for as low as $1.
‘ITS ONLY ELF MAKEUP ITS BASICALLY FREE,’ a woman wrote.
‘Who’s really out here stealing elf cosmetics foundations tho,’ a user said.
Since the public backlash, Target has seemingly reached out to the initial poster to learn more information about the specific store and time the photo was taken.
The company has not released a formal apology.
Target is not the only chain retailer that has been accused of profiling customers and locking away certain products.
Pictured: Target reached out to the original poster to ask for clarification in the situation
In a video shared on Tik Tok appears to be in a Walmart where a similar incident has occurred.
The user video tapes the row of hanging Maybelline Fit Me concealers while explaining that the lighter shades can easily be pulled down by customers.
The darker tones are latched away behind a red locks.
To demonstrate, she pulls on the locked shades to show that they cannot be removed.
Walmart has not publicly addressed the video.
DailyMail.com reached out to Target for further comments on the situation.