14 More Retailers Sign Charter to End Racial Bias
As of Dec. 1, 42 retail brands have signed the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter, a national initiative to address racial bias and discrimination in shopping experiences, the Open to All nationwide nonprofit announced. The new signatories include industry leaders Cartier, CBL Properties, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Glossier, LVMH, maurices, URBN (Anthropologie, Free People, Nuuly, and Urban Outfitters), The Body Shop, and supporter Yelp.
The Charter was inspired by the Racial Bias in Retail Study, a groundbreaking national study commissioned by Sephora that explored how BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) shoppers experience discrimination in retail settings. The report found that two in five U.S. shoppers have personally experienced unfair treatment based on their race or skin tone, and that BIPOC retail shoppers were three times more likely than white shoppers to feel most often judged by their appearance.
Total Retail's Take: As diversity and inclusion efforts grow within retail organizations, more brands are making public commitments to focus on these initiatives. The charter is growing in force with the latest batch of major players signing on to #StopRetailRacism. According to the Open to All press release, this isn’t just a one-time vow to do better, but rather a long-term plan rooted in concrete steps to help reduce racially biased experiences and unfair treatment for both employees and shoppers.
“The Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter serves as a springboard for brands to hold themselves, their shoppers, their staff, and their fellow retailers accountable," Open to All said in a statement. "By working together to share best practices, we can drive lasting change within the retail industry.”
“LVMH is proud to sign the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter alongside many of our Maisons, including the co-initiator Sephora, to drive lasting change in the retail industry,” Anish Melwani, chairman and CEO of LVMH North America, said in a statement. “Signing the charter is an actionable step in our ongoing commitment to eradicating racism from the retail experience and ensuring that all of our customers feel valued and respected in our stores.”
Charter goals for 2023 include increasing diversity across marketing and products, providing employee training on the experiences of shoppers of color, and creating a means of feedback to improve service, the press release states.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.