The Glossier Retail Employee Experience
Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO
Yesterday, a group of former Glossier retail employees published a post sharing their experiences working in our NYC Flagship store. Many of these stories echo conversations we had earlier this summer: starting June 15, several members of our retail team emailed me with their concerns around the work environment in our stores, especially for our Black, POC and LGBTQIA+ teammates. We moved quickly to investigate with the added guidance of outside counsel to ensure a thorough and fair process. As part of that, I had conversations with more than a dozen retail team members over the course of two weeks, and after hearing about their lived experiences, as well as their desire to make Glossier better, we all knew we needed to take action. Based on their feedback and recommendations, we created a plan to build a better work environment. We then shared this plan with our New York and Los Angeles retail teams, along with our corporate team, on July 10. For transparency and accountability, I’m including that email below.
Glossier retail has long been focused on creating amazing experiences for our external community. Going forward, we must ensure that the needs of our internal community are met with equal energy and passion as we build an equitable, inclusive and growth-oriented retail employee experience. We are grateful to everyone who has come forward for giving us the opportunity to listen, learn, and improve. While our timeline for re-entering retail remains uncertain as a result of the pandemic, we are committed to laying the foundation for a better work environment in our stores. As a beauty company, we know we have a heightened responsibility—changing how the world sees beauty starts with change and accountability within our own organization.
UPDATE: you can read our message to our former retail colleagues and broader community here.
July 10 2020
Over the past month, I’ve had many conversations with members of this team about the work environment at our stores. A number of you were motivated by the current national conversation about racial justice to reach out to me and share your thoughts on where Glossier has fallen short when it comes to the retail employee experience, and how we can be better. That took a lot of courage. I’m deeply grateful for these conversations and that you brought these issues to my attention.
Before Covid-19 forced us to close our stores, you were all the daily architects of a magical customer experience. Since the earliest days of Glossier retail, so much creativity and energy has gone into figuring out how to bring joy to our customers and create a sense of community. After digging into the issues that were raised on these calls in partnership with the People team, it’s clear to me—and the rest of Glossier leadership—that our focus for the future needs to be on our internal community: creating an equitable, inclusive and growth-oriented retail employee experience, especially when it comes to our Black, POC and LGBTQIA+ teammates.
I want to share some of our key takeaways from these conversations, as well as the initial actions we’re taking. This is just the beginning—we will learn, refine and improve.
Management: We need to redesign our retail management philosophy and structure.
We will hire new store managers with deep retail and people management experience.
We will create a robust hiring process for management, including building a diverse pipeline of candidates and screening for alignment with our values and experience managing diverse and inclusive teams.
All managers will be required to participate in recurring training on equity and inclusion, with a specific focus on combating and addressing microaggressions and anti-Black racism.
HR Support: We need to ensure that issues are appropriately escalated and addressed.
Any location with over 100 employees will have a dedicated onsite HR person. Smaller stores will share dedicated HR support.
We will create an escalation process that enables all retail employees to share unresolved issues directly with HQ, including instances of racist behavior.
Career Growth: We need to create clear and compelling paths for career advancement at Glossier, both within retail and on our corporate team.
We will redesign our current points system to ensure a comprehensive and equitable performance process.
We will review our current compensation system to ensure fair and equitable treatment across the team.
We will publish an internal job board that includes opportunities on both our retail and corporate teams.
We will create a clear path to retail management roles, with the goal of growing management from within the company.
Communication with HQ: We need to create better feedback loops between our retail and corporate teams.
We will host a quarterly Town Hall with Glossier leadership, where all retail employees will have the opportunity to ask questions about Glossier retail and Glossier’s business more broadly, as well as share feedback.
We will create more regular communication and alignment between retail and product development, giving members of our retail team an opportunity to share feedback on the inclusivity of the products we’re creating. We will incorporate retail employee feedback as we reevaluate the shade ranges of existing products that don’t meet our bar for inclusivity, like Perfecting Skin Tint, Stretch Concealer, and Skywash.
Customers: We need to do a better job holding our customers accountable for any behavior that is in violation of our values, especially when directed towards Black, POC and LGBTQIA+ teammates.
We will create and display a Customer Code of Conduct in all our stores.
We will institute robust training for both managers and our security partners on responding to customer situations and, when necessary, removing customers from our stores.
We know there’s more work to be done, and we are continuing to look into the issues raised in our conversations, but these actions are our starting point for creating the employee experience you all deserve.
Given the continued high risk of social gathering within enclosed, crowded spaces during the pandemic, we have not yet decided on a timeline for reopening retail. We are closely following the resurgence of Covid-19 across the United States, which continues to hit all-time highs for new cases.
Thank you again for your honesty and desire to make Glossier better. We’re determined to use this time when our stores are closed to build the foundation of a better retail employee experience. If you have any questions or thoughts, please reach out to [redacted] on our People team, copied on this email.