Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which operates more than 1,900 stores nationwide, announced on Wednesday a commitment to spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by the end of 2025, including adding products across its multi-category assortment from more than 500 Black-owned businesses and engage more Black-owned companies to enhance its retail operations and shopping experience.
In addition to spending more with Black-owned companies, Target is introducing new resources to help its Black-owned vendors grow and successfully scale their businesses in mass retail, the company said, including spending more with Black-owned companies including marketing agencies, construction companies, facilities maintenance providers and others.
"We have a rich history of working with diverse businesses, but there's more we can do to spark change across the retail industry, support the Black community and ensure Black guests feel welcomed and represented when they shop at Target," said Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer, Target. "The bold actions we're announcing today reflect Target's ongoing commitment to advance racial equity for the Black community. They also represent significant economic opportunity for hundreds of new Black-owned companies, who we look forward to doing business with for years to come."
Building off the success of Target Accelerators, a portfolio of programs supporting entrepreneurs to drive innovation and instigate change, the company is introducing a new program called Forward Founders that will engage Black entrepreneurs earlier in their startup journey to help them navigate the critical stages of ideation, product development and scaling for mass retail. With increased access to subject matter experts and educational workshops earlier in the startup process, Forward Founders is designed to help Black-owned businesses increase their potential for long-term success in retail, the company said.
The new initiative is part of Target's commitment to social justice and racial equity. Last year, Target established its Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee composed of senior leaders from across the company who represent a diverse range of perspectives and expertise and guide the retailer's efforts to engage in the fight to end systemic racism in the U.S. and drive lasting impact for the Black community. This investment builds upon Target's previous commitments, including increasing Target's representation of Black team members by 20% over the next three years and committing $10 million from Target and the Target Foundation to support nonprofit partners focused on addressing the systemic and structural barriers facing Black communities.
Improving and increasing supplier diversity has been a key initiative for many retailers during the past year, with large retail chains from Walmart and Kroger to Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize USA investing funds and efforts into campaigns and programs. Regional grocery retailers including Schnuck Markets, Southeastern Grocers and Meijer have also announced new supplier diversity programs and events in the past year.