Target has announced it will spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by the end of 2025.
The company, which has just under 19,000 stores across North America, has pledged to engage 500 Black-owned businesses to enhance its retail operations.
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.
Following on from 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.
The program 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.
Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer at Target said: “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.”
The company’s $2 billion commitment builds upon recent efforts to increase its network of diverse suppliers. Through existing opportunities such as Target Accelerators and events like the Black-Owned Business Vendor Fair, the company has brought in diverse businesses who have products ready for sale at retail.
In some product categories, like beauty, Target has a strong representation of 50 Black-owned and Black-founded brands. The company said it wanted to grow the number of these brands in other categories such as home and grocery.
Hennington added: “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.”
The announcement follows the establishment last year of Target’s Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee, made up of diverse senior leaders from across the company. The committee is aimed at guiding Target’s efforts to “engage in the fight to end systemic racism in the U.S. and drive lasting impact for the Black community” the company said in a statement.