Over 5,000 Walmart stores across the US have begun to pull a top-selling magazine from their checkout aisles in an attempt to make shopping more family friendly. This comes after several concerns were raised about the inappropriate content marketed to women but often times being seen by children and others in stores.
In a press release Tuesday afternoon from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, it was revealed that the magazine will be relocated from prime positioning at checkout to an “isolated” home on the magazine racks elsewhere.
“You can go through and buy your groceries with your family knowing you don’t have to be exposed to this graphic and often degrading and offensive material,” NCOSE Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Haley Halverson said.
“Instead, all of these magazines will be moved, in isolation, to the magazine racks.”
The magazine in question is none other than Cosmopolitan, which, believe it or not, had humble beginnings as a “family oriented” magazine.
When former editor-in-chief Helen Gurley took over the publication in 1962, the brand was transformed into what most know it as today.
NCOSE has been advocating for the removal of the hyper-sexualized magazine from shelves for years, and this is not the first time they’ve had success in moving Cosmo away from public view. In 2015, the group successfully pushed for the placement of “blinders” over the magazine in Rite Aid and Delhaize America stores.
Now, Walmart has followed suit to ensure customers are not unwillingly exposed to materials that may make them feel uncomfortable.
“This is one less drop of hyper-sexualized media that is going to be bombarding people in their everyday lives, which does make a difference, Halverson said. “… we really want a culture that will respect women and ensure their dignity is understood.”
Many are praising Walmart for their efforts, and NCOSE has now set their sights on other retail giants like Target and Walgreens to do the same.
“We are not expressly calling for any boycotts, but we are asking Target and Walgreens to follow Walmart’s example and also remove Cosmo from their checkout aisles,” she explained.
Walmart’s senior director of corporate affairs, Meggan Kring, has stated the move is in the best interest of the business as a whole.
“As with all products in our store[s], we continue to evaluate our assortment and make changes,” she said. “Walmart will continue to offer Cosmopolitan to customers that wish to purchase the magazine, but it will no longer be located in the checkout aisles. While this was primarily a business decision, the concerns raised were heard.”
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