Forty-two retail brands have signed the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter since its inception in May, according to Open to All, a campaign dedicated to building public awareness and understanding about nondiscrimination laws. The charter is an initiative to address racial bias and discrimination in shopping.
The nonprofit on Thursday announced the latest batch of signatories, including Cartier, CBL Properties, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Glossier, LVMH, Maurices, Urban Outfitters, Inc., The Body Shop and Yelp.
The charter was inspired by the 2021 Racial Bias in Retail Study, which was commissioned by Sephora to investigate racism and related problems in retail. The year-long research study revealed that three in five retail shoppers have experienced discriminatory treatment, two in five have experienced unfair treatment on the basis of their race or skin color, and three in five retail employees have witnessed bias at work. The study also said that most shoppers don’t think marketing shows diverse skin tones, body types and hair textures, and product assortment does not meet the needs of a variety of consumers.
“The Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter serves as a springboard for brands to hold themselves, their shoppers, their staff, and their fellow retailers accountable. By working together to share best practices, we can drive lasting change within the retail industry,” Open to All said in a statement.
In October, charter members held a meeting to exchange best practices and establish goals for 2023. Areas of focus include increasing diversity across marketing and products, providing employee training on the experiences of shoppers of color and creating a means of feedback to improve service.
“LVMH is proud to sign the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter alongside many of our Maisons, including the co-initiator Sephora, to drive lasting change in the retail industry,” Anish Melwani, chairman and CEO of LVMH North America, said in a statement. “Signing the charter is an actionable step in our ongoing commitment to eradicating racism from the retail experience and ensuring that all of our customers feel valued and respected in our stores.”
Additional retailers that have signed the pledge include American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., Capri Holdings, Crocs, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gap Inc., H&M, J. Crew Group, Levi Strauss & Co., Michaels, Tapestry, Rue 21 and Zara, among others.