Programming Includes the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter, Monthly Educational Sessions, and Collaboration with 200+ Nonprofit Organizations
[BOULDER, CO] APRIL 13, 2023 — National nonprofit Open to All® announced today that an additional seven major retail brands have signed the Open to All pledge committing to maintain a welcoming and safe environment for people—including team members, visitors, customers, vendors, and clients—regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion, or disability.
Open to All welcomes Petco, REI Co-op, and UGG® to their Leadership Circle. Bath & Body Works, Burlington Stores, VF Corporation (The North Face®, Vans®, Timberland®, Dickies®, Smartwool ®), and Zola also signed the Open to All Business Pledge as corporate sponsors.
“In the five years since Open to All’s inception, we have had over 600,000 businesses sign the pledge,” said Calla Rongerude, Managing Director for Open to All. Our corporate partners work beyond the walls of their stores to bring the business community together to join Open to All 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.”
Open to All’s corporate partners have access to Open to All’s unique diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming, which includes monthly corporate briefings, collaboration opportunities such as Inclusive Retail and the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter, and access to a peer-to-peer network. One of Open to All’s most popular offerings is their monthly briefing series. Some recently covered topics include how to best support Muslim employees and customers during Ramadan presented by Muslim Advocates; combating anti-AAPI hate with Asian Americans Advancing Justice; access and accommodation—disability inclusion in the workplace presented by the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN; how employers can support and protect employees and customers from gender-based violence and harassment with Futures Without Violence; and States of LGBTQ Equality: How Companies Can Support Employees Across the Country.
“On behalf of everyone at Petco, we’re delighted to be joining Open to All as both a leader and a champion of inclusion and equality across all of retail,” said Liz Consuegra, Senior Vice President of People and Head of DEI at Petco. “As a purpose-driven company, this partnership is a natural extension of our promise of taking the very best care of our people, building partnerships with businesses and organizations that support each other’s DEI journeys, and fostering communities of belonging and inclusion for our people and our customers.”
“At REI, we have long believed that the co-op and the outdoors are for all. To make this a reality, we must ensure that our employees, members, and customers feel welcome and affirmed whether they’re in our stores, on the trails, or online,” said Wilma Wallace, REI Chief Diversity & Social Impact Officer. “We look forward to partnering with Open to All and peers across the industry as we continue to put this belief into action.”
“UGG® exists to make self-expression comfortable to all, and that is why we are proud to sign onto the Open to All pledge and stand alongside our peers who have also signaled an ongoing commitment to radical inclusion in the retail industry,”Nicks Ericsson, Sr. Director of Brand Purpose at UGG®, said in a statement. “We are excited to work with the Open to All team and their nonprofit partners to continue creating valuable resources that ensure retail experiences, both online and offline, are truly welcoming to all consumers.”
PROTECTING FRONTLINE WORKERS
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, Open to All announced a groundbreaking initiative, Inclusive Retail, a campaign that puts tools and resources in the hands of businesses and customers to ensure the inclusion, safety, and acceptance of those on the frontlines of retail: floor staff and sales associates. Frontline workers can face the brunt of customer frustration, which can often manifest in racist or discriminatory ways. The Inclusive Retail campaign reaffirms that everyone —including employees, visitors, vendors, and clients—has a hand in the creation of environments that are safe and inclusive to all.
Inclusive Retail offers two resources to practice effective allyship and create safe shopping experiences for everyone in retail environments: the Customer Action Center and the Inclusive Retail Toolkit. In March 2023, Open to All debuted an updated Inclusive Retail Toolkit that includes resources on addressing gender-based harassment and violence in the workplace developed by Futures Without Violence. These free tools contain videos, articles, and supplemental materials that continue to build on Open to All’s library of resources available to those who believe in the culture of inclusion and belonging necessary to being Open to All.
“As an off-price retailer, Burlington is committed to offering great merchandise values every day and we are dedicated to adding value through the power of inclusivity for our customers and associates. We’re honored to participate in the Open to All Business Pledge, as it shares our commitment of creating welcoming and safe spaces for everyone,” stated Mecca Mitchell, SVP, Leadership & Organizational Development, DEI, and Community Impact.
GALVANIZING THE RETAIL SECTOR TO MITIGATE RACIAL BIAS
In May 2022, Open to All debuted the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter inspired by the findings of Sephora’s Racial Bias in Retail Study, a groundbreaking national study that explored the ways in which BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) shoppers experience discrimination in retail settings.
To date, over 45 retail brands have signed the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter, a commitment to take concrete steps to ensure a more welcoming environment for all shoppers by reducing racially biased experiences and unfair treatment. Signatories of the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter gain access to a two-hour Reducing Racism in Retail training, monthly meetings and a collaborative network of DEI-focused professionals.
Last October, Open to All surveyed Charter members and supporters to identify priorities for the coming year. Using those results as a guide, Open to All hosted panel discussions covering hiring and retention/advancement diversity policies, reevaluating return policies, and diversifying marketing and product assortment, among other topics. Open to All aims to draw upon their corporate community by inviting companies to take turns facilitating discussions about how they are addressing racial bias, preferably in a cross-departmental fashion.
“We’re proud to join Open to All because at Bath & Body Works, everyone belongs,” says Kelie Charles, Bath & Body Works Chief Diversity Officer. “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Make Us Stronger is one of our core values and we’re committed to creating a culture where we live our values and maintain an environment of respect, civility, empowerment and equity. It’s not just the right thing to do for our people; it’s the right thing to do for our business.”
“Joining the Open to All Business Pledge as Corporate Sponsors is more than just a statement of our values, it’s a call to action for business. VF Corporation is committed to ensuring our physical and online spaces are safe and welcoming to everyone,” said Leah Vescovi, Senior Manager, Society and Movements, Global Inclusion, Diversity Equity & Action (Idea) at VF Corporation. “Open to All creates a network of likeminded peers who are dedicated to creating inclusive retail experiences and pushing each other to create best in class service for folks of all backgrounds and we’re excited to be a part of that.”
Open to All 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. Never before have so many businesses and nonprofits joined together in a single, unified campaign that sends a message that everyone is welcome, valued, and respected. Because when a business is open to the public, it should be open to all. Businesses can sign the pledge at https://www.opentoall.com/business-members/#business-pledge. For more information about the Open to All coalition or today’s announcement, please visit www.OpenToAll.com.
The full list of companies that have pledged to be Open to All are Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters (American Eagle, Aerie, Todd Snyder, Unsubscribed), Ann Taylor, Bath & Body Works, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington Stores, Cacique, Capri Holdings Limited (Versace, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors), CarMax, CBL Properties, Cartier, Club Monaco, Crocs, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Fossil Group (Fossil, Michele, Skagen, Watch Station, Zodiac), fresh, Gap Inc. (Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy), Glossier, H&M, J.Crew Group (J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, Madewell), Lacoste, Lane Bryant, Loft, LVMH, maurices, Misfit, Movado Group, Petco, Ralph Lauren Corporation, REI Co-op, Rimowa, rue21, Tapestry (Coach, kate spade new york, Stuart Weitzman), The Body Shop, Tiffany & Co., Under Armour, URBN (Anthropologie, Free People, Nuuly, Urban Outfitters), UGG®, VF Corporation (The North Face®, Vans®, Timberland®, Dickies®, Smartwool ®), Yelp, Zara, and Zola.
ABOUT OPEN TO ALL: Open to All is a nondiscrimination program based around the idea that everyone should be welcomed, valued, and respected. Open to All is a growing coalition of more than 200 non-profits, including civil rights and racial justice organizations, disability groups, LGBTQ groups, faith organizations, and more. Open to All also unites thousands of large and small businesses across the country to defend the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All.
ABOUT PETCO, THE HEALTH + WELLNESS CO.: Founded in 1965, Petco is a category-defining health and wellness company focused on improving the lives of pets, pet parents and our own Petco partners. We’ve consistently set new standards in pet care while delivering comprehensive pet wellness products, services and solutions, and creating communities that deepen the pet-pet parent bond. We operate more than 1,500 pet care centers across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, which offer merchandise, companion animals, grooming, training and a growing network of on-site veterinary hospitals and mobile veterinary clinics. Our complete pet health and wellness ecosystem is accessible through our pet care centers and digitally at petco.com and on the Petco app. In tandem with Petco Love (formerly the Petco Foundation), an independent nonprofit organization, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, we’ve helped find homes for nearly 7 million animals.
ABOUT THE REI CO-OP: REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 181 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.
ABOUT UGG®: Founded in 1978 by an Australian surfer on the coast of California, UGG® is a global lifestyle brand renowned for its iconic Classic Boot. First worn by Hollywood royalty, fashion editors, and then the world, UGG® designs and retails footwear, apparel, accessories, and homewares with an uncompromising attitude toward quality and craftsmanship. UGG® is an environmentally and socially conscious brand which strives to be socially just, economically inclusive, and environmentally restorative. Delivering more than $1.5 billion in annual sales, UGG® partners with the best retailers globally and owns concept and outlet stores worldwide in key markets, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing. For more information, please visit http://www.ugg.com @ugg #FeelsLikeUGG
ABOUT BATH & BODY WORKS: Home of America’s Favorite Fragrances®, Bath & Body Works is a global leader in personal care and home fragrance, including the top-selling collections for fine fragrance mist, body lotion and body cream, 3-wick candles, home fragrance diffusers and liquid hand soap. Powered by agility and innovation, the company’s predominantly U.S.-based supply chain enables the company to deliver quality, on-trend luxuries at affordable prices. Bath & Body Works serves and delights customers however and wherever they want to shop, from welcoming, in-store experiences at more than 1,800 company-operated Bath & Body Works locations in the U.S. and Canada and more than 425 international franchised locations to an online storefront at BathandBodyWorks.com.
ABOUT BURLINGTON STORES, INC.: Burlington Stores, Inc., headquartered in New Jersey, is a nationally recognized off-price retailer with Fiscal 2022 net sales of $8.7 billion. The Company is a Fortune 500 company and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BURL.” The Company operated 927 stores as of the end of Fiscal 2022, in 46 states and Puerto Rico, principally under the name Burlington Stores. The Company’s stores offer an extensive selection of in-season, fashion-focused merchandise at up to 60% off other retailers’ prices, including women’s ready-to-wear apparel, menswear, youth apparel, baby, beauty, footwear, accessories, home, toys, gifts and coats. For more information about the Company, visit www.burlington.com.
ABOUT VF CORPORATION: Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest active-lifestyle companies which connects people to the activities and experiences they cherish most through a portfolio of outdoor, active, workwear and streetwear brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®. Our purpose is to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. We connect this purpose with a relentless drive to succeed to create value for all stakeholders and use our company as a force for good. For more information, please visit vfc.com.
ABOUT ZOLA: Zola is where today’s couples are planning their weddings. The most trusted authority in the industry, over 2 million couples have chosen Zola as their partner for their entire wedding planning journey. With the most innovative tools, insightful team of experts, and the largest community of engaged couples, Zola supports couples in bringing their unique, authentic wedding visions to life. To learn more, visit Zola at www.zola.com and follow @zola on all social platforms.