The beauty retailer Sephora will close its more than 400 stores nationwide the morning of Wednesday, June 5, so its 16,000 employees can go through diversity training. The move comes after Grammy-nominated R&B singer SZA said she was racially profiled while shopping at a store in Calabasas, California.
Sephora is owned by the Paris-based luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vitton/
SZA, who is black, said an employee she identified as “Sephora Sandy” called security on her in April to make sure she wasn’t shoplifting.
Sephora apologized a day after she complained, writing in a tweet:
“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. We want to let you know we take complaints like this very seriously and are actively working with our teams to address the situation immediately.”
“We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy,” SZA said in a Twitter post.
The “inclusion workshops” — which employees in all U.S. stores, distribution centers and corporate offices will be required to attend — is part of a larger “We Belong to Something Beautiful” campaign that has been in the works for about a year to promote diversity within both its staff and customers, the company said.
Sephora said it “will never stop building a community where diversity is expected, self-expression is honored, all are welcomed, and you are included.”
Sephora spokeswoman Emily Shapiro said in an email to Reuters that the store closures for diversity training have been in the works for several months and were not “a response to any one event.