Customers at big retail stores were outraged when they recently discovered the cost for an African-American Barbie doll was different – and oftentimes more – than the cost for a Caucasian Barbie.
On Tuesday, Wal-Mart’s website reportedly listed an African-American ice skater Barbie for $11.87. The Caucasian version of the same exact doll sold for $9.88, reports CNBC.
A Wal-Mart spokesperson said the price was just a mistake and confirmed that it was correcting the issue.
“They should always be the same price, across all ethnicities,” a Wal-Mart spokesman said on Tuesday. “This is just a pricing error. We corrected it immediately.”
A similar issue was reported at Toys R Us – but in reverse. The toy giant featured the same African-American skating Barbie for $10.99, while its Caucasian counterpart sold for $14.99.
Mattel didn’t respond to CNBC’s requests for a comment, but Kathleen Waugh, vice president of Corporate Communications at Toys R Us, wrote the following in an email statement: “It is our policy to price like dolls of all ethnicities the same. We will ensure the pricing is corrected.”
A third chain store, Target, originally priced its African-American fashion design marker Barbie for $49.99, a whopping $26.50 more than the $23.49 sale price of the same Caucasian doll. Target is now selling both dolls for $20.99.
“It is never our intention to offend guests with our product assortment,” a Target spokesman said in a statement. “Both dolls should have reflected the same pricing, however, due to a systems issue this change did not occur.”
Wal-Mart has taken their public apology one step further than most by offering customers who purchased the African-American doll at a higher price a gift card, reports Huffington Post.