This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Beauty chain Sephora hit a big sales milestone in 2023, but the workers who helped to make it happen say all they got was a “stale” cookie as thanks.
The company celebrated hitting $10 billion in revenue in North America last week, and some of its stores got cookies in the mail as a gift.
But, the sprinkled treats and an attached thank you note — which demanded confidentiality — didn’t go over well with Sephora’s employees, according to a slew of comments online and two workers who asked to remain anonymous.
“They are always coaching us to meet our goals and expectations, and, of course, everyone goes above and beyond for the company and all they give us is a stale cookie and a letter thanking us,” said one former employee whose last day coincided with the cookie delivery.
Another employee told Business Insider: “When we got the cookies, we were like, ‘Wait what?
“It’s obvious they’re not listening to us,” he said. “These are people who don’t know how this actually works and how important we are to the operation.”
In a statement to BI, Sephora said it “had a great year thanks to our extraordinary team members who help create and build our incredible beauty community.
“We are proud of all our employees across our stores, distribution centers, and corporate offices who contributed to this shared success in North America,” the company said in the statement. As the leading prestige beauty retailer, it’s success like this that allows us to continue to offer highly competitive benefits and pay, performance bonuses, education, brand perks, training product, gratis, and substantial product discounts to our employees.
It’s unclear if Sephora gave employees any additional compensation for hitting the milestone.
Anonymous via Business Insider
Sephora staff got the treats over the last week, workers said. The cookies came wrapped with a label saying “We did it! $10 billion” to celebrate the company raking in record-setting hauls.
Sephora’s card — which BI has seen — said the company set records for Black Friday in stores, as well as new bests for its online traffic and warehouse fulfillment.
“Inside this box, you will find a sweet treat to enjoy with your team,” the card continued. “We thank you for making it our greatest year ever. Cheers.”
At the bottom of the card was a warning: “The content of this card is confidential and should not be shared externally as it is a violation of our company policies.”
But that didn’t keep a subreddit dedicated to Sephora employees from trashing the presents.
Let the unionization begin!
Reddit users called it the “infamous cookie.” Some poked fun with reviews of how the pre-packaged goods tasted (one user gave it a 4 out of 10), but others said it made them feel like “dirt on the bottom of their shoes.”
Another user turned the cookie into a call to action: “Let the unionization begin!” they wrote.
The employee who got the cookie on her last day said it was “totally normal” to see a confidentiality notice attached to gifts from Sephora.
She said the gift left her disappointed, but not surprised.
“They really don’t reward us for the work and mental energy it takes to be a Sephora employee,” she told BI. “There’s just so much more they could do and they chose to send stale cookies.”