NEW YORK -- Sephora says it will close all its U.S. stores on the morning of June 5 to host "inclusion workshops" for its employees. The move comes just over a month after the cosmetics company caught the internet's eye, when singer SZA said she had security called on her while shopping at a California store.
Sephora posted notice of the closures on its Facebook page and elsewhere. It also included a link to its "We Belong to Something Beautiful" campaign, which says, "We will never stop building a community where diversity is expected, self-expression is honored, all are welcomed, and you are included."
On April 30, SZA tweeted that a Sephora employee called security to make sure she wasn't stealing. Sephora responded with an apologetic tweet, saying it takes such complaints seriously.
The company later issued the following statement: "Sephora is a client-centric company and creating a welcoming space for all our clients is our top priority. The "We Belong to Something Beautiful" campaign has been in the works for a year, and the plan to close our U.S. stores, distribution centers, call centers and corporate office for a one-hour inclusivity workshop with our 16,000 employees has been in development for over six months, timed with our first campaign chapter debuting on June 6th. This store closure is part of a long journey in our aspiration to create a more inclusive beauty community and workplace, which has included forming employee resource groups, building Social Impact and philanthropic programs, and hosting inclusive mindset training for all supervisors.
While it is true that SZA's experience occurred prior to the launch of the "We Belong to Something Beautiful" campaign, the campaign was not the result of this Tweet. However, it does reinforce why belonging is now more important than ever. Our entire organization is excited to set aside this time to re-commit to building an environment of inclusion. We'll be discussing what it means to belong, across many different lenses that include, but are not limited to, gender identity, race and ethnicity, age, abilities, and more. This week marks the first step in our journey, and with the goal of ensuring everyone feels welcome in the beauty category, we hope that We Belong to Something Beautiful helps further foster that belief, for the benefit of our clients, for the betterment of the industry and our communities at large."