Major US retailers sign charter to end racial bias in retail environments

(Source: Bigstock)

A collective of 28 major US retailers have pledged to reduce racially-biased interactions in retail environments as part of the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter.

The charter was created from the key findings of Sephora’s Racial Bias in Retail study (2019). The investigation shed light on what racial bias looks, sounds, and feels like in a retail setting for BIPOC and suggested ways on how to prevent it.

The study found that two in five people in the US personally felt discriminated against or experienced unfair treatment on the basis of their skin colour.

Open to All – a non-profit for non-discrimination campaign – partnered with Sephora in the venture to develop the charter with the goal of raising awareness and providing a collective voice for the issue.

Calla Rongerude, director of Open to All, said the study “underscored the pervasiveness of unfair treatment” of BIPOC shoppers in retail spaces.

“Our goal is to create an environment that is truly open to all. We hope companies across the retail sector will join us, sign the charter, and work together to create meaningful impact and share best practices.”

Jean-André Rougeot, president and CEO of Sephora Americas, said the findings would serve as a useful insight for the entire retail sector.

“We are proud to have this work resonate in such a deeply impactful way via the charter, and with the commitment of so many retail signatories, we can collectively work to change the retail experience on a much faster and broader scale,” he said.

The US retailers that have joined the charter to date are: American Eagle Outfitters, Ascena Retail Group, Ben & Jerry’s, Crocs, Dick’s, Gap Inc, H&M, J. Crew Group,  Michaels, Movado Group, Capri Holdings, CarMax, Levi Strauss & Co, Tapestry, Rue 21, Sephora and Zara.

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