The beauty products giant Sephora will close more than 400 stores on the morning of June 5 to host inclusion workshops for its employees, according to a statement posted on the company’s website.
Sephora said in a statement that it “believes in championing all beauty,” celebrating differences and “building a community where diversity is expected.” The cosmetics giant will take a few hours out to train its 16,000 employees about the brand’s values.
Along with the retail stores, the company-wide training will also include employees in Sephora’s distribution centers and corporate offices, according to Retail Dive.
The move aligns Sephora with its parent company’s new tagline, “We Belong to Something Beautiful,” and comes during a time when consumers are becoming increasingly aware and averse to the discrimination that happens while shopping, eating out or grabbing a coffee from brick-and-mortar giants.
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Several weeks ago, 28-year-old singer SZA said in a series of tweets that she was racially profiled and stopped by security officers at a Sephora store in Calabasas, California.
The musician once worked as a skin consultant for Sephora and is a spokesmodel for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand, which is sold exclusively at Sephora.
SZA received a tweeted apology from Sephora that said, “You are a part of the Sephora family, and we are committed to ensuring every member of our community feels welcome and included at our stores.”
Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, sent a gift card and a handwritten note and to SZA that read, “Go buy yo’ Fenty Beauty in peace sis! One love, Rihanna,” which SZA shared on her Instagram Story.
Other retailers including Nike, Papa John’s and Starbucks instituted diversity training programs in the last year after incidents and accusations of wrongdoing.
Starbucks attempted a dramatic move toward racial reconciliation in 2018 as it closed 8,000 stores across the nation for an afternoon of anti-bias training. This came following an incident at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia in which a manager called police on two African-American men who were quietly waiting for a friend.
Also last year, employees at Papa John’s underwent diversity training in a bid to transform the troubled company’s culture. The founder of the pizza maker ignited a firestorm after admitting to using a racial slur during a media training session.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.