Beauty chain Sephora recently announced on Facebook that it plans to close all of its 400 US stores this week on 5 June for diversity training, as well as its distribution centers and corporate offices. This move comes after singer SZA, who is black, complained she was racially profiled at a Sephora store in Calabasas back in April.
In a tweet on 1 May, artist SZA said on Twitter that she was shopping at a Sephora store in Calabasas, California, when an employee she identified as “Sandy” had “called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing”. The company responded at the time on Twitter saying:
“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.”
Moreover, it is actually said that the Grammy nominee singer had previously worked at Sephora. Also, after her tweet regarding the incident, Google reviews for the Calabasas store spiked, with many users criticizing Sephora over the incident. Emily Shapiro, a spokeswoman for Sephora recently stated in an email:
“We have been informed of an incident at our Calabasas store and in addition to reaching out to SZA directly, we are gathering more information about the incident in order to take the proper next steps. We take complaints like this very seriously, profiling on the basis of race is not tolerated at Sephora.”
She also added that the training is not “a response to any one event”, and that planning for the “inclusivity workshops” had been in progress for several months and that a broader campaign called “We Belong to Something Beautiful” had been in the works for at least a year.