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Sephora Has A Plan To Combat Racial Bias In Their Stores

Anyone with eyes can see that Black people have been treated differently in social settings for generations. It’s rare that we are able to walk into a store and shop comfortably because there always seems to be eyes on us in fear that we’re stealing. There are companies who have attempted to work against this reality and major Makeup retailer, Sephora can be added to that list. Sephora has developed a plan to combat racial bias in their stores, starting with decreasing security.

Sephora is one of the most popular makeup chains internationally and they are implementing changing in their merchandising, marketing, and employee training in an effort to mitigate the potential for racial profiling in their stores. The action plan was announced this past Wednesday following multiple customer and employee surveys in addition to interviews and academic research that has been taking place since 2019. Issues surrounding race and inequality have been given a new spotlight due to the Black Lives Matter protests and police killing of George Floyd this past summer. The makeup supergiant has also gotten heavily critiqued by Black shoppers such as popular singer, Sza and comedian Leslie Jones, who have both spoken out about the unfair treatment they have received from Sephora employees.

“We recognize that racial bias affects our stores, just as it affects all retailers,” Deborah Yeh, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview. “Discrimination and unfair treatment are woven into institutions across America, and retail is not excepted.”

Sephora is pegging to double their assortment of Black-owned brands to 16 by the end of 2021 in addition to creating programs to assist entrepreneurs of color. There will also be new customer greeting protocols and a reduction of the presence of third party security and police officers in their U.S. stores to guarantee that shoppers are treated the same across the board.

Sephora is making a great effort to promote diversity and inclusion in their company and branding. Hopefully the difference can be felt among shoppers nationwide.