Sephora U.S. launches action plan to stop racial bias
French cosmetics retailer Sephora revealed a new action plan in the U.S. to help combat racial bias that includes changes across its marketing and merchandising sectors, in-store operations, and corporate workspaces.
The action plan, announced on Wednesday, coincides with the release of a study the beauty retail giant commissioned on Racial Bias in Retail.
Informed by the study’s findings, the beauty retailers action plan includes doubling its assortment of Black-owned brands by the end of 2021, while also committing to prominently feature and advertise those Black-owned brands through a dedicated tab on its website.
In store, it plans to roll out a new greeting system to ensure a more consistent experience for all store visitors. It will also create new training modules required for all Beauty Advisors, and reduce the presence of third-party security vendors in stores, among other tactics.
In line with a commitment made back in October, it is equally increasing its support of BIPOC-owned beauty brands, by evolving its 2021 Accelerate brand incubator program to focus exclusively on cultivating and growing BIPOC-owned and founded brands.
The first-of-its-kind national study, conducted from fall 2019 to late 2020, found that two in five U.S. retail shoppers have personally experienced unfair treatment on the basis of their race or skin tone. The study also found that Black retail shoppers are more likely than white shoppers to receive unfair treatment based on their skin color.
“We know that we’re in a strong position to influence positive changes in the retail industry and society at large and it’s our responsibility to step up,” said Jean-André Rougeot, president and CEO, Sephora Americas.
“We’re committed to doing all we can to make our U.S. retail experience more welcoming for everyone.”
In June, the LVMH-owned brand announced that it was dedicating 15 percent of its shelf space to Black-owned companies, as part of its commitment to the '15 Percent Pledge'.
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