We can only hope that the protests that took place over the summer calling for racial justice were not in vain. Many companies made pledges in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and now it appears Sephora is following up with theirs.
The makeup giant recently laid out its plan to repair its image with consumers of color after Sephora was accused of racial bias in stores as well as lack of products in representation of both skin colors and brands.
The plan includes cutting down on third-party security guards, cracking down on discrimination among its staff and doubling its assortment of Black-owned brands by the end of the year, according to Bloomberg.
“We’re seeing that there’s a tremendous commercial opportunity for us as a retailer to address the needs of all of our clients,” said Deborah Yeh, Sephora’s chief marketing officer for the Americas, making sure to mention that the company wants to create an environment where all shoppers and employees feel welcome. “All retailers, Sephora included, have a financial incentive to get this right.”
And chile, the makeup girls have been on Sephora’s neck because their protest of the brand may have affected its revenue.
Sephora is rapidly falling behind its biggest direct competitor, Ulta Beauty Inc., in terms of sales, according to Bloomberg. As recently as 2017, the two chains were neck-and-neck, with both bringing in around $5.9 billion in the U.S. sales, data from the National Retail Federation show. Just two years later, Ulta brought in $7.4 billion to Sephora’s $5.9 billion.
Not to mention, Sephora has been struggling to bounce back after Sza reported being followed around by security inside a California Sephora back in June of 2019. The following month, Sephora closed all its stores for a “one-hour inclusivity workshop.”
In an effort to re-engage customers of color, Sephora is updating its zero-tolerance policy to make sure staff who display racially-biased behavior are investigated consistently.
We can only hope that these new policies effect change. We’ll keep you posted.
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