Southeastern Grocers (SEG) plans to hold a supplier sourcing event to collaborate with area businesses to expand the variety of local products at its stores.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based SEG said Monday that the Local Supplier Connect program enables companies within its five-state footprint to showcase their products for an opportunity to be placed on Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and/or Fresco y Más store shelves. At a virtual Local Supplier Connect event in the spring, participants will be able to engage with SEG buyers and category managers to share their company background, product information and marketing plans.
Interested businesses in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi — where SEG operates approximately 450 stores — with products ready for retail can apply to participate in Local Supplier Connect through Dec. 6.
“Our communities are our heart and soul, and we are committed to helping them thrive. The Local Supplier Connect program allows us to expand local offerings in our stores and source products from the very communities we serve,” Dewayne Rabon, senior vice president and chief merchant at Southeastern Grocers, said in a statement. “As a grocer in the Southeast, we are proud of our roots, and we strive to share and encourage the culture of our communities by highlighting local products in each of our stores.”
SEG is partnering with ECRM and its RangeMe subsidiary to source, qualify and connect suppliers with the appropriate buyers.
Designed for retail buyers and suppliers, RangeMe’s platform uses a dashboard to put thousands of products at buyers’ fingertips, making it easier to find and compare items. Automatic alerts are sent to buyers when new products meet their selection criteria. In turn, retail buyers can more efficiently source innovative new products and manage the inbound product submission process, according to San Francisco-based RangeMe.
On the supplier side, RangeMe provides added control over product marketing along with greater access to retail buyers. Suppliers can upload full details of their products to the platform for buyers to review. In addition, suppliers know when their products are being viewed and can receive feedback from buyers, while buyers can instantly contact suppliers of interest or track a product to be alerted of updates.
SEG noted that the Local Supplier Connect event follows its Supplier Diversity Conference in May. At that event, merchants met with 85 businesses that are at least 51% owned, operated and managed by women; Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, LGBTQ+ people; military veterans; or people with disabilities and sell grocery, general merchandise and/or beauty and personal care products. SEG noted that the events reflect its efforts to promote inclusion throughout the organization, including suppliers, associates, customers and communities.