SEPHORA, Gap Inc., CarMax, Ben & Jerry’s amongst industry leaders taking first-of-its-kind national pledge to implement strategies aimed at addressing racially-biased and unfair treatment in retail
May 18, 2022: National nonprofit Open to All today announced that 28 leading U.S. retailer brands signed the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter committing to take concrete steps to ensure a more welcoming environment for all by reducing racially biased experiences and unfair treatment for shoppers in the retail sector.
The Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter was inspired by the Racial Bias in Retail Study, a groundbreaking national study commissioned by Sephora that explored the ways in which BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) shoppers experience discrimination in retail settings. The report found that two in five U.S. retailer shoppers have personally experienced unfair treatment on the basis of their race or skin tone, and that BIPOC retail shoppers were three times more likely than white shoppers to feel most often judged by their appearance.
Initiated by Open to All and Sephora in 2022, the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter is a multi-stakeholder collaboration aiming to implement tactics and actions to reduce racially biased interactions from the shopper experience and create an environment that is truly welcoming to all. Open to All and Sephora partnered on this work, with Open to All convening its Inclusive Retail members to apply the study’s findings with the goal of collaboration and collective impact across the retail sector. Starting with the Charter, this growing collaboration also includes the development of resources and education, including training materials and an annual in-person convening.
“The study underscored the pervasiveness of unfair treatment of BIPOC shoppers in retail spaces throughout this country,” said Calla Rongerude, director of Open to All. “We believe the retail industry should have a zero-tolerance discrimination policy. With the commitments from these companies, we can begin to address the problem, act, and start to make shopping more inclusive. 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.”
“At Sephora, diversity, equity, and inclusion have long been core to our mission since our U.S. debut more than 20 years ago – but we recognized that the retail experience has not always been welcoming,” said Jean-André Rougeot, President and CEO, Sephora Americas. “When we first commissioned the Racial Bias in Retail Study in 2019, it was our intent that the findings would serve as useful insights for the entire retail sector, including Sephora. Today, 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. We celebrate those that have joined and encourage others to sign on, as it’s not about perfection, it’s about a commitment to progress for shoppers today and tomorrow.”
By signing the Charter, the retailers acknowledge that racially biased and unfair treatment exists broadly in our society and as such, can impact the retail experience. They have all pledged to design and implement actions that mitigate racial bias from the shopper experience, help foster inclusive shopping experiences for all, and work together to share best practices across the retail industry to drive change.
The ways retailers can support the Charter include:
- Increasing diversity across marketing, products, branding, and the workforce to help prevent exclusionary treatment before shoppers enter a store.
- Providing critical employee training on the experience of shoppers of color to help address the disconnect between how BIPOC shoppers and store employees interpret interactions.
- Creating a feedback mechanism to improve service, and report back on any meaningful actions and progress toward fostering more inclusive experiences for BIPOC shoppers.
This Charter was informed by key findings from Sephora’s Racial Bias in Retail Study, which shed light on what racial bias looks, sounds, and feels like in retail settings—and most importantly, what to do to prevent it from happening in the future. To support the overall effort, a member of the OTA partner group has funded a two-hour anti-racism training to be shared with all Charter members. The training was developed by Mattingly Solutions, a DEI consulting firm focused on workplace inclusion.
“H&M USA is proud to be a signatory of this very important charter,” says Katja Ahola, US Country Sales Manager of H&M. “We know as an industry there is still so much work to be done, but this very important step, and the collective work of the signatories, will bring us closer to the goal of a more welcoming, safe and inclusive retail experience for all our customers.”
The U.S. retailers that have joined the Charter to date are American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (American Eagle, Aerie), Ascena Retail Group (Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, LOFT, Lou & Grey), Ben & Jerry’s, Capri Holdings (Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Versace), CarMax, Crocs, DICK’S, GAP, Inc., H&M, J. Crew Group, Levi Strauss & Co., Michaels, Movado Group, Tapestry (Coach, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman), rue 21, SEPHORA and Zara.
Non-retail companies, institutions, NGO’s and nonprofits can also support the Charter by becoming a supporter of the Charter and taking the Open to All pledge. Those groups are asked to support the work of the retailers and resources through sharing the Charter and socializing best practices.
More information on the Racial Bias in Retail Study, commissioned by Sephora, may be found here.
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Open to All is a nonprofit nondiscrimination program that believes everyone should be welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion, or disability. www.opentoall.com
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Leaders including fashion giants Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Open to All® call on corporations and businesses to combat racial disparities and fight anti-Asian racism
OAKLAND, CA, MAY 7, 2020—Twenty-five businesses from companies across the country have committed to addressing racial disparities by signing on to a letter from Open to All® urging the business community to examine and work to combat the disparities and discrimination that have caused the COVID-19 global crisis to disproportionately impact Black, Latinx/Hispanic, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. The letter is in response to data that show COVID-19 is resulting in a sharp rise of anti-Asian racism and is killing far greater numbers of Black, Latinx/Hispanic people, as well as Pacific Islanders.
Led by Open to All®—the national nondiscrimination campaign that believes everyone should be welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion, or disability—the letter encourages all businesses and corporations who sign to work to combat racial disparities and denounce anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander racism in their communities.
“COVID-19 is not the ‘great equalizer,’ as some have called it,” said Open to All® Campaign Director Calla Rongerude. “Rather, it is a profound reminder of how inequalities continue to permeate all areas of life. While the pandemic’s impact has reached far and wide, communities of color have been hit with the greatest ferocity. There are many factors at play, but some of the most significant are inequities in employment, pay, and access to healthcare—areas in which the business community can make a real difference. While many of these companies are themselves reeling from the crisis, they recognize the need to come together, now more than ever, to address the racial inequities that have been laid bare by COVID-19, and we thank them for their leadership.”
The letter was signed by AEO Inc., which includes brands American Eagle and Aerie; Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream; Capri Holdings Limited, which includes brands Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, and Versace; Gap Inc., which includes brands Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Hill City, Intermix, and Old Navy; H&M; Lacoste; Levi Strauss & Co.; Movado Group, Inc.; Ralph Lauren; Steve Madden; and Tapestry, Inc., which includes brands Coach, kate spade new york, and Stuart Weitzman.
While businesses have different capacities to weather this storm and are facing difficult decisions in the coming months, these leaders are taking necessary action in both the immediate and long terms to protect their workers, customers, and communities. Open to All® is encouraging consumers to support businesses large and small that are doing the right thing like following best-practice safety protocols as well as those that are offering services like delivery or online ordering. In partnership with Yelp, consumers can search for Open to All® businesses on Yelp.com. This allows customers to find businesses that have pledged to be a safe and welcoming place to everyone.
Open to All® has also launched a new resource page to support employees, protect the health and wellbeing of customers and communities, sustain businesses large and small, and combat racial disparities and anti-Asian and Pacific Islander racism. Click here for the Open to All® COVID-19 Resource page.
“No matter what we look like, where we live, or our socioeconomic status, this global pandemic reminds us that at our core we’re all just human. This virus has shown us that we are dependent on one another, and whether we’re Black or White, Latinx or Asian, working behind the scenes or on the front lines, it’s time to come together in support of each other,” said Rongerude.
About Open to All®
Open to All® is one of the most significant public education efforts to date that unites and galvanizes national leaders in business, civic engagement, and the nonprofit sector to take a stand for shared American values of fairness and equality. In addition to the thousands of business members, Open to All® includes more than 200 nonprofit members spanning civil rights and racial justice organizations; LGBT equality organizations; health and disability organizations; faith organizations; and more. Open to All® members are committed to building awareness and understanding about the importance of nondiscrimination—and to defend the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All®.
Businesses that wish to join Open to All® can learn more and sign the pledge at http://www.opentoall.com/business-members/#business-pledge.
Tapestry, the CFDA and fashion peers support inclusivity on the eve of New York Fashion Week (NYFW)
(New York, NY), SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 – Tapestry, Inc. (NYSE: TPR), a leading New York-based house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, today announced it is signing the Open to All® pledge, in support of its ethos that when “a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to all.” Tapestry was joined by over 50 fashion houses and brands, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and the Open to All® campaign, to make a powerful statement about the industry’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and protecting equality.
This collective effort was inspired by Tapestry’s work with the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. Founding Open to All® signatories and fellow CEO Action members Levi Strauss & Co. and Gap Inc. (Old Navy), joined Tapestry as they signed the Open to All® pledge alongside ascena retail group (Ann Taylor, Catherines, Justice, Lane Bryant, LOFT, Lou and Grey), Ban.do, Capri Holdings (Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Versace), Diane von Furstenberg, Fossil Group (Fossil, Michele, Misfit, Relic, Skagen, Watch Station, Zodiac), H&M Group (H&M, COS, & other Stories), Hudsons Bay Company (Saks Fifth Avenue), Incipio, Inditex (Zara), Keds, Kering, Lifeguard Press, Lenox, Movado, PVH Corp. (Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger), Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren (Club Monaco), Richemont (Cartier, Chloé, dunhill, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels), Steve Madden, Tiffany & Co. and The Collected Group (Current Elliott, Equipment, Joie).
Jide Zeitlin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tapestry, Inc. said, “When we founded Tapestry almost two years ago, we asked employees around the world what they wanted our company to stand for. Overwhelmingly, they told us ‘inclusivity,’ to represent the diversity of our employees, our customers and the communities in which we operate. This is an important moment for us to reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity. By joining the CFDA, the Open to All® campaign, and other fashion houses to collectively support and sign the Open to All® pledge, we are sending a message that we will not tolerate discrimination. Together, we are taking a stand for the rights of our customers, our employees and our partners.”
Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA said, “The CFDA supports Open to All® and thanks Tapestry for its effort in bringing our industry together behind diversity, inclusion, and equality.”
Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of Open to All® said, “In the two years since Open to All’s inception, we have had over 5,000 companies sign the pledge. We have been inspired and humbled by Tapestry’s leadership and vision. Tapestry has worked beyond the walls of their stores to bring the fashion industry together to join the Open to All® campaign in building a thriving, inclusive, competitive America where customers and employees are valued, respected and welcomed regardless of who they are. This exemplifies the spirit of Open to All® and creates true transformation—especially for everyone out there who is struggling and wants to know where they will be safe, welcomed and accepted.”
On Earth Day 2019, Tapestry launched bold 2025 corporate responsibility goals, including a commitment to build diversity in North America Tapestry and brand leadership teams. This will be achieved by increasing the number of North America-based ethnic minority leaders to better reflect the company’s general corporate population, and to reduce gender and ethnic differences in the Employee Inclusion Index scores from the Company’s Employee Engagement Survey.
In July 2019, Tapestry joined over 200 companies in signing the Amicus brief – a “friend of the court” brief – to support the protection of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination under existing federal civil rights laws. Tapestry achieved a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the fifth consecutive year in 2019, earning the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. Additionally, Tapestry was listed on the Forbes 2019 “Best Employers for Diversity” list for the second consecutive year. In 2017, Tapestry signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge to reaffirm the company’s commitment towards advancing inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Other highlights include the establishment of an Inclusion Council to ensure that people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds are included in business decisions, inclusion training for all Tapestry employees globally, as well as gender neutral uniform guidelines for store employees.
To engage employees on the importance of dialogue and conversation, Tapestry hosts events celebrating Pride, International Women’s Day and Black History Month, and regularly hosts a discussion series called “Unscripted,” where diverse internal and external leaders share their stories about optimism, innovation and inclusivity. Our brands have shown support for inclusivity with Coach’s “Words Matter” campaign featuring Michael B. Jordan, kate spade new york empowers women to be the heroines of their own stories through social impact programs, the kate spade foundation and on purpose, a social enterprise initiative that has created over 250 full-time jobs, 93 percent of which are held by women in the Abahizi factory in Masoro, Rwanda, and Stuart Weitzman is proud of its inclusive sizing, with sizes ranging from four to 12 in widths of narrow, medium and wide. Learn more at www.tapestry.com/responsibility.
About Open to All®
Open to All® is the nationwide public engagement campaign to build awareness and understanding about the importance of protecting people from discrimination—and to defend the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All®. The Open to All® coalition consists of more than 5,000 businesses and 200 civil rights and racial justice organizations; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations and community centers; health advocates, disability advocates and faith organizations; and other groups working to protect and strengthen our nation’s nondiscrimination protections and defend the principle that when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to all and not discriminate. Visit www.OpenToAll.com/supporters for a full list of supporters.
About CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. This commitment is driven by a realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue. Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, more than 700 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations, are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. And because there is a collective opportunity for both CEOs and the workforce to address these challenges, we have created the I Act On pledge for any individual to take.
About Tapestry, Inc.
Tapestry, Inc. is a New York-based house of modern luxury lifestyle brands. The Company’s portfolio includes Coach, kate spade new york and Stuart Weitzman. Our Company and our brands are founded upon a creative and consumer-led view of luxury that stands for inclusivity and approachability. Each of our brands are unique and independent, while sharing a commitment to innovation and authenticity defined by distinctive products and differentiated customer experiences across channels and geographies. To learn more about Tapestry, follow us at www.linkedin.com/company/tapestryinc or visit www.tapestry.com. The Company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TPR.
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