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Here’s why all of Sephora’s U.S. stores will be briefly closed on Wednesday [updated]

Here’s why all of Sephora’s U.S. stores will be briefly closed on Wednesday [updated]
[Photo: Flickr user Eric Wüstenhagen]

If you need to stock up on face serum, glitter eyeshadow, setting powder, or the entire Fenty line,  maybe don’t do it on Wednesday morning. Sephora is closing all 400 of its U.S. stores that morning for one-hour diversity training.

Last month, the beauty retailer announced in a Facebook post that it is closing up shop on the morning of June 5 at its retail locations, as well as at its distribution center and corporate office, for “inclusion workshops” for its employees.

The decision comes less than a month after Sephora was in the news after an employee allegedly racially profiled R&B singer SZA. On April 30, the Grammy-nominated artist tweeted that “Sandy Sephora” at the Calabasas, California, location of the beauty retailer had “called security” on her, accusing her of stealing. (Don’t worry, they talked it out: Sephora apologized, and then Rihanna sent SZA a Fenty gift card.) That said, a Sephora spokesperson told Reuters that the diversity training is not a direct response to the incident with SZA, but is part of a larger “We Belong to Something Beautiful” campaign. Planning for the chain’s “inclusivity workshops” had been in progress for several months, the spokesperson said.

Sephora, which is owned by LVMH, isn’t the first national chain to realize it has a little inclusivity work to do with its employees. Last year, Starbucks closed all 8,000 of its stores for a day of anti-bias training after an employee at one of the coffee chain’s Philadelphia locations called the police on black customers, leading to charges of racial discrimination and nationwide protests against the company.

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Sephora will close only during the one-hour training, not the entire day.

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