Open to All® Partners with Leading Retailers in Groundbreaking Inclusive Retail Campaign to Foster Allyship, Inclusion and Belonging
Community is forged by the care we give to each other. In this time of global pandemic, when businesses have remained one of the few places where we still gather, the respect that we give to the people that keep those doors open is more important than ever.
As tensions run high and retailers are asked to enforce safety measures, including mask mandates, amid the global pandemic, frontline workers often can face the brunt of customer frustration, which can often manifest in racist or discriminatory ways. While retailers have long trained frontline workers to respect and serve a diverse customer base, now customers are being asked to join as part of the solution.
Today, Open to All announced its groundbreaking initiative, Inclusive Retail, a campaign that puts tools and resources in the hands of businesses and customers alike to ensure the inclusion, safety, and acceptance of those on the frontlines of retail: floor staff and sales associates. The project is a collaboration between Open to All and nonprofit partners Hollaback!, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and corporate partners Ascena Retail, American Eagle Outfitters, Capri Holdings, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Gap Inc., H&M, Michaels, Movado Group, Ralph Lauren, Sephora, and Tiffany & Company.
You can read the Associated Press exclusive about the project here.
Inclusive Retail offers two new resources to foster inclusivity and create safe shopping experiences for everyone in retail environments: The Customer Action Center and the Inclusive Retail Business Toolkit.
The Customer Action Center features resources and tools that empower customers to practice bystander intervention and effective allyship if they see an employee receiving unjust treatment from another customer, including:
- bystander resources created by Hollaback!, which designs and distributes trainings and campaigns on discrimination and harassment;
- in-depth videos about allyship and implicit bias; and
- a new Customer Pledge where consumers can affirm the values of being Open to All.
For the first time, customers can collectively signal their commitment to being Open to All. Similar to Open to All’s Business Pledge, the Customer Pledge allows customers to declare that they believe everyone — including employees, visitors, vendors, clients and other customers — should feel safe, respected, and accepted regardless of who they are.
The Inclusive Retail Business Toolkit contains resources and trainings to help retail environments create a culture of inclusion and belonging, such as:
- a sample Customer Belonging policy that states a commitment to respect and dignity of all within the store as well as the shared responsibility of the safety and respect for employees;
- an “Allyship and Advocacy” training video co-produced with Ralph Lauren supplemented by Hollaback!’s allyship and de-escalation materials; and,
- Sephora’s landmark study on Racial Bias in Retail, which found that shoppers are not the only ones subject to bias across the retail landscape. In fact, one in five retail employees have personally experienced unfair treatment at their place of work and one in three have contemplated quitting as a result.
In response to these and other findings, Sephora is working in partnership with Open to All to implement tactics proven to mitigate racial bias in retail, which is certain to have an impact across the retail sector.
Inclusive Retail is a massive undertaking that provides businesses and customers with the tools necessary to create a welcoming environment for all while shedding light on the increased challenges retail workers face during this time of global pandemic. Through this project, retail workers can know that they are seen and supported from their corporate offices to those who walk into their stores.