Clicks announced it will continue normal trading hours despite a planned protest by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Monday, September 7. This comes after the popular health and beauty retailer was called out for labelling black and ethnic hair as “dry and damaged”, whereas the finer hair of white women was labelled “normal”.
The EFF is embarking on the protest in a demand for all Clicks stores to be closed after the the racist hair labels were made by the store.
Clicks Trading Monday 07 September 2020 pic.twitter.com/XA453poHU6
— Clicks (@Clicks_SA) September 6, 2020
“Clicks provides some a much-needed healthcare service to South Africans and stores will not be closed,” the retailer said. “Contingency plans have been put in place to ensure the safety of both customers and staff.”
Following the backlash, Clicks issued a statement apologising for the labels.
“We would like to issue an unequivocal apology. We have removed the images which go against everything we believe in. We do not condone racism and we are strong advocates of natural hair. We are deeply sorry and will put in place stricter measures on our website,” they wrote on Twitter. “We have made a mistake and sincerely apologise for letting you down. We recognise we have a role to play in creating a more diverse and inclusive S.A, starting with our website content. We know we need to do better, and commit to ensuring our content better reflects this value.”
Vikesh Ramsunder, Clicks Group CEO, wrote an open letter addressing the incident which can be read here.