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Sephora to fight racial bias with an action plan



NEW YORK (AP) – Retailer of beauty products Sephora said Wednesday it will strengthen the number of black-owned brands, downsize on third-party security guards and offer more inclusive marketing as part of a plan to combat racial bias in its stores.

The company unveiled its plan when it released the results of a survey it commissioned that took an in-depth look at racial bias in the U.S. retail experience.

The study, which is based on a combination of employee and shopper surveys and academic research, began in the fall of 201

9 and ended in late 2020. It turned out that two out of five U.S. retail buyers have personally experienced unfair treatment based on their race or skin tone. It also turned out that black customers are more likely than white customers to receive unfair treatment based on their skin color.

The issue of racial bias has gained greater importance for businesses in the wake of nationwide protests over police brutality last summer following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

As part of the plan, Sephora, a division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, plans to double the range of black-owned brands to 16 by the end of the year. It will also prominently highlight and promote black-owned brands via a dedicated tab on the Sephora website. It also plans to roll out a new congratulatory system to shoppers in all stores to ensure a more consistent experience.

Among other changes: Sephora will also reduce the presence of third-party security officers in its 500 U.S. stores and use more in-house specialists as a way to minimize customer concerns about police work.

“We know we are in a strong position to influence positive change in the retail industry and society as a whole, and it is our responsibility to step up,” said Jean-Andre Rougeot, President and CEO of Sephora Americas, in a statement. .


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