Sephora plans to close all stores on the morning of June 5 for “inclusion” training. The announcement comes after singer SZA said she was accused of stealing while shopping at a store location.
SZA told fans about the incident on social media, along with the California location’s address, and a name for the sales associate she interacted with.
“Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing . We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy,” SZA tweeted on April 30.
Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing . We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy
— SZA (@sza) May 1, 2019
The tweet received over 65,000 likes and 8,500 retweets.
“Can a [expletive] cop her fenty in peace er whut,” SZA tweeted next.
Fenty refers to the popular beauty product line from pop singer Rihanna that is sold in Sephora stores.
The Twitter account for Sephora responded to the initial tweet a day later.
“Hi, SZA. We’re sorry to hear about your experience at our Calabasas store and appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We want to let you know we take complaints like this very seriously and are actively working with our teams to address the situation immediately,” tweeted Sephora.
It is not unusual for Sephora to respond to a complaint over Twitter. The store responds to many complaints, comments, and questions over Twitter every day, judging by the activity on the company’s Twitter account.
“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 said in another tweet to SZA.
The complaint by SZA resulted in others complaining about shopping experiences at Sephora. Sephora also addressed some of their complaints, within the same discussion.
Eventually, Rihanna sent SZA a gift card and a handwritten note for her troubles. SZA shared the interaction in an Instagram story, according to NBC News.
“Go buy yo Fenty Beauty in peace sis!” Rihanna wrote.
“Tanks queen!” SZA responded.
The decision by Sephora to close all stores for diversity training is similar to a move Starbucks made about a year ago when two men were arrested at a Philadelphia location while waiting for a friend, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Sephora could be preemptively trying to avoid the protests that multiple Philadelphia Starbucks stores endured after the incident. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson went to Philadelphia to speak to members of the media and address the incident.
Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney also addressed the incident, and said the city would review Starbucks policy.
“Like all retail establishments in our city, Starbucks should be a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter the color of their skin,” said Kenney, via the Inquirer. “Starbucks has issued an apology, but that is not enough.”
A Starbucks employee called the police after the two men refused to make a purchase while they waited for a friend. When the police showed up, so did the friend. Cell phone video caught much of the interaction between the involved parties.
The Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission issued a statement.
“Given the information disclosed it seems clear that the responding officers, in this case, did not violate the current policies which guide their work and acted in accordance with the law,” the statement read, via the Inquirer. “As for the Starbucks employees, while it will ultimately be up to the company to decide whether their employees acted within the spirit of their organizational policies, they certainly broke no laws either.”
Then manager of the store location was reported to have left the position while Starbucks conducted an internal review. It is not clear if he or she remained at the company.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was the executive chairman of the company at the time of the incident. He said he blames company policy.
“It was not the manager’s fault,” said Schultz, via NBC 10. “It was the fault of the company. And the fault was we had a policy that was unclear. And unfortunately that policy led to a bad decision.”