Clicks is closing stores across the country on Wednesday, September 9. Management plans to use this time directly engaging with their store staff to provide counselling and support. The Economic Freedom Front (EFF) carried out planned protests at several stores throughout South Africa from Monday, and said they will continue to do so until Friday.
Clicks were caught in mass social media backlash following adverts deemed ‘racist’ towards black women. In the now deleted images on their website, black models with natural textured hair were used to show off ‘dry and damaged’ or ‘frizzy and dull’, hair while white models with straight, blonde hair were used as the faces of ‘fine and flat’ or ‘normal’ hair.
According to Clicks, the advertisements were commissioned by the TRESemmé hair company.
Tomorrow, 09 September, our stores will be closed. We will be engaging directly with all our store staff across the country to provide counselling and support. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
The retailer announced on Tuesday [September 8] they would remove all TRESemmé products from their shelves, and work towards broadening their local haircare offerings.
A senior executive has stepped down from the position for his involvement in the advertisement, and all employees involved in publishing the controversial advertisement have been suspended and will go through a disciplinary hearing.
This protest action brought by the EFF does not seem to be coming to an end, despite a court ordered interim interdict granted to Clicks to prevent the political party from intimidating Clicks employees and customers, and to stop inciting violence against Clicks operators.
“The Economic Freedom Fighters notes the judgement by the High Court in the matter between Clicks and The EFF in which the court reaffirmed the EFF’s right to peaceful and just protest,” the EFF wrote in a tweet.
“The EFF would like to categorically state that we have not engaged in or commissioned any violence against employees, customers or commercial operations of Clicks.”
Our interactions with customers and employees have been peaceful, & we would like to advise all law enforcement agencies, be it private or the state to read the court order carefully and appropriately to avoid infringing on our constitutional right to demonstrate. #clicksmustfall
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 8, 2020
“We will continue to protest across all Clicks outlets until the 11th of September 2020. Accordingly, all members and ground forces of the EFF must intensify their efforts to ensure Clicks does not operate, and this must be done through peaceful means.”
“This is to ensure that Clicks, which values profits over the dignity of black people in this country feels the consequences of undermining the identity of black people, and presenting whiteness as the standard for beauty.”
Picture: Twitter / EFF Western Cape