Sephora will be closing all of its stores in the U.S. for "inclusion workshops" on Wed., June 5. In a post on Sephora's Facebook page, the beauty retailer announced that on the morning of June 5, "every Sephora store, distribution center, and corporate office in the U.S. will close to host inclusion workshops for our employees." The post continued: "These values have always been at the heart of Sephora, and we're excited to welcome everyone when we reopen. Join us in our commitment to a more inclusive beauty community."
The announcement came after Sephora faced backlash earlier this month when musician SZA said that a Sephora employee at a store in Calabasas, California, called security to make sure that she wasn't stealing makeup. The musician wrote that she had a "long talk" with an employee who she referred to as "Sandy Sephora."
Sephora also announced its new brand platform and tagline, "We Belong to Something Beautiful." The motto is a plan of action for the brand, a promise to continue working to make the beauty space a more inclusive environment for everyone. The manifesto reads, "Sephora believes in championing all beauty, living with courage, and standing fearlessly together to celebrate our differences. We will never stop building a community where diversity is expected, self-expression is honored, all are welcomed, and you are included."
Total Retail's Take: Sephora's action may sound familiar. Starbucks closed all of its stores across the U.S. for a half-day of racial bias training in May 2018 after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location following their failure to purchase items in the store. And in 2016, Chipotle closed for a half-day to train workers on food safety after the chain experienced food-poisoning outbreaks. It's also not Sephora's first diversity-and-inclusion-related action. In 2017, the company began using employees as models for marketing campaigns focused on diversity. Putting an emphasis on diversity and inclusion in general is a smart move for companies going forward.