Beauty retailer Sephora will close all 400 of its U.S. stores for one hour on Wednesday morning for diversity training, which comes just over a month after an incident in which singer SZA said she was racially profiled at one of its California locations.
Sephora announced in a Facebook message on May 23 that it would be closing all of its U.S. locations on June 5 as well as its distribution center and corporate office for "inclusion workshops" for its employees.
The announcement came less than a month after Grammy-nominated R&B singer SZA, who is African-American, tweeted on April 30 that she had been racially profiled by an employee she dubbed "Sandy Sephora" at a location in Calabasas, California.
"Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing,'' she wrote. "We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy."
The company tweeted a response to SZA, who told Refinery 29 last year that she used to work in the skincare department at a Sephora location before launching her music career.
A Sephora spokesperson told TODAY that the company-wide diversity training was not a reaction to the incident with SZA and had previously been in the works for more than a year as part of its "We Belong to Something Beautiful" campaign, which was announced on the same day as the inclusion workshops.
"While it is true that SZA’s experience occurred prior to the launch of the 'We Belong to Something Beautiful' campaign, the campaign was not the result of this tweet,'' the company said in a statement to TODAY. "However, it does reinforce why belonging is now more important than ever. Our entire organization is excited to set aside this time to re-commit to building an environment of inclusion."
"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,'' Sephora wrote.
Sephora is the latest national chain to close its stores for a day of diversity training. Starbucks closed all 8,000 of its stores for a day last year after a racial discrimination incident at one of its Philadelphia locations led to protests against the company.