Support Frontline Workers This Holiday Season

Open to All® is a campaign to transform America toward a shared vision that everyone should be welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion, or disability.

We believe we all have something to contribute. We believe we can all learn from each other. We believe when businesses commit to supporting their employees, customers, and communities, we all benefit.

In the long haul that is the Covid pandemic, we saw businesses large and small shutter stores and scale back services to keep us all safe. In a time of crisis and lost profits, businesses could have cut back on their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Instead, Open to All businesses of all sizes demonstrated their commitments in myriad ways.

Take beauty giant Sephora. They kicked off 2021 by releasing a first-ever large-scale study on Racial Bias in Retail, which found that racial bias in retail is pervasive for both shoppers and employees. The study also included actionable solutions for retailers to mitigate racially biased experiences. This groundbreaking study is certain to have impact across the entire retail sector. Open to All is investing in our ongoing work with Sephora, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and our other corporate partners to work together to address racial bias across the retail sector. Look for more exciting news about this work in early 2022.

Throughout 2021, Open to All also collaborated to address the vulnerability of frontline workers. We worked with partners like Hollaback! and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and corporate partners Ascena Retail, American Eagle Outfitters, Ben & Jerry’s, Capri Holdings, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Fossil, Gap Inc., H&M, J. Crew Group, Michaels, Movado Group, Ralph Lauren, rue21, Sephora, and Tiffany & Company. 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.

Together, we launched a 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. Inclusive Retail offers new resources to foster inclusivity and create safe shopping experiences for everyone in retail environments.

The Customer Action Center features resources and tools that empower customers to practice effective allyship if they see an employee receiving unjust treatment from another customer, including:

· allyship 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.

Inclusive Retail was 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. Please take some time to visit the Customer Action Center and sign the pledge as you do your holiday shopping.

We know that building a stronger country means everyone should feel safe, respected, and accepted as they live, shop, and work. Open to All continued our partnership with Yelp to make it easier to find safe and welcoming businesses, which is more important than ever, given that hate violence is at an all-time high.

This year Yelp introduced an LGBTQ-owned business attribute that will allow business owners to self-identify as LGBTQ-owned. The latest Yelp attribute identifying LGBTQ-owned businesses illustrates the values of Open to All. It follows recent new attributes that help consumers support not only Open to All businesses, but also the Latinx-, AAPI-, and Black-owned attributes. This is yet another example of how the company is, once again, showing up for their users and the businesses on their platform.

We’re featuring several of those small businesses in this year’s Open to All Holiday Gift Guide, alongside our corporate partners. We hope you spend some time looking at the exciting assortment of gifts we’ve collected from small and large businesses that are investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This holiday season, support frontline workers and the businesses that support you.

At a time of deep divisions, we’re joining together from all walks of life and work to build a thriving and inclusive nation where all are welcome.