After meeting with 250 diverse suppliers at its first Supplier Diversity Summit in November, Meijer announced it will host a second event in May, giving more diverse-owned businesses nationwide the opportunity to showcase their offerings for interested merchants.
"Our Supplier Diversity Summit was incredibly successful, and we are excited to begin working with many new partners as a result," said Jamie Akemann, group VP of indirect procurement and supplier diversity, in a release. "However, it takes time to go from meeting a new vendor partner to carrying their product in hundreds of stores. By holding this second event, and future supplier diversity events, we ensure a consistent flow of new products and partnerships that empower diverse suppliers and create positive economic impacts in our communities."
The May 4-6 virtual event will focus on the following categories: beauty and personal care; over-the-counter and wellness; general merchandise; and grocery. Certified minority-, LGBTQ-, woman-, veteran- and disability-owned businesses with retail-ready products in those categories can apply by March 8 for consideration.
Meijer is partnering with RangeMe, an Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) company, to manage all product submissions.
"Supplier diversity, much like our overarching Diversity & Inclusion efforts, is not about checking boxes or a 'one and done' mentality—it's about ensuring our partnerships reflect our customers and communities," said Peter Whitsett, EVP of merchandising and marketing for Meijer. "By continuing to recruit diverse vendors through these events, we are creating a pipeline of diverse partners that will better serve our customers and communities for years to come."
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer was recently one of 10 grocery retailers to receive a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2021 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. The privately-owned and family-operated company operates 256 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
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