Supercenter retailer Meijer plans to hold its first virtual Supplier Diversity Summit on Nov. 12.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer said this week that the summit will give diverse-owned businesses from across the country the opportunity to showcase and pitch their offerings to Meijer merchants “looking to bring the next great item onto their shelves.”
The online event will focus on suppliers in the grocery, beauty care, personal care, general merchandise, and over-the-counter health and wellness product categories. To participate in the summit, certified minority-, LGBTQ-, woman-, veteran- and disability-owned businesses with retail-ready products in those categories must apply by Oct. 9, Meijer said.
“Focusing on supplier diversity is an important part of our diversity, equity and inclusion journey,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement. “While we have always valued diverse partnerships, this event exemplifies our commitment to building a more inclusive vendor community which will better serve our customers.”
Meijer has partnered with Solon, Ohio-based Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) and RangeMe, its product discovery tool subsidiary, to host the Supplier Diversity Summit through the ECRM Connect virtual platform.
After suppliers submit their applications, Meijer teams will review and choose the vendors that the company would like to meet in the summit. Suppliers not chosen will still be accessible via the RangeMe registration tool and may be reviewed by Meijer merchants later on as business needs change, the retailer noted.
Likewise, diverse vendors offering products and/or services outside of the summit’s categories can submit their information for consideration through Meijer’s prospective vendors web page, even though they may not qualify for the event, the company added.
“We believe our partners should reflect the communities we serve,” commented Jamie Akemann, group vice president of indirect procurement and supplier diversity at Meijer. “This event gives us the opportunity to partner with diverse suppliers to empower them and provide economic support that will be felt throughout our communities, allowing us to better embody our mission of enriching lives in the communities we serve.”
Meijer operates 253 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.