Meijer announced it will hold a multi-day virtual summit in May for diverse suppliers nationwide to meet with company buyers, according to a press release on Thursday.
- Like the inaugural Supplier Diversity Summit in November, the event aims to find “[certified] minority-, LGBTQ-, woman-, veteran- and disability-owned businesses with retail-ready products” in four categories: grocery; beauty and personal care; over-the-counter and wellness; and general merchandise.
The grocer is once again partnering with sourcing firm ECRM and its subsidiary sourcing company, RangeMe, to help host the summit, which will run from May 4-6.
The upcoming summit continues Meijer’s efforts to connect with diverse suppliers, following an “incredibly successful” summit in November that connected the retailer with 250 suppliers, according to the announcement.
Earlier this year, Meijer announced it will host a virtual summit on April 1 for local suppliers in the six states where the big-box chain has store locations: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
"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,” Peter Whitsett, Meijer’s executive vice president of merchandising and marketing, said in the announcement about the May summit.
The summits fit into Meijer’s larger diversity and inclusion agenda, which includes team member resource groups and partnerships with organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, Whitsett said.
Other grocers have also ramped up their supplier diversity efforts recently. For example, Kroger announced in October it's increasing its spending on diverse suppliers to $10 billion by 2030 as part of its diversity, equity and inclusion plan. Kroger said that it works with more than 1,000 minority suppliers and that in 2019, it invested $3.4 billion in sourcing from them.
Grocers are also working to promote their supplier diversity efforts to customers. Giant Food started updating its shelf and online product labels to better highlight items from women- and minority-run businesses. Meanwhile, The Fresh Market for the second year in a row is celebrating Women’s History Month by marking more than 100 in-store products from women-owned companies.
Suppliers interested in Meijer’s May summit can apply by Monday, March 8. Meijer will select which suppliers it wants to participate, noting in the announcement that ones not chosen can still get reviewed by the grocer at a later date.