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Meijer Steps Up Supplier Diversity Outreach With Second Vendor Event

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Meijer will host a supplier diversity event in May, giving diverse-owned businesses nationwide the opportunity to showcase their offerings for interested Meijer merchants. After meeting with nearly 250 diverse suppliers at its first Supplier Diversity Summit in November, the retailer plans to meet with even more at its upcoming multi-day virtual event.

“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, Meijer EVP of merchandising and marketing. “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.” 

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 Monday, March 8, for consideration here.

“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. “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.”

Meijer is partnering with RangeMe, an ECRM company and the industry standard online product sourcing platform, to manage all product submissions by qualifying and connecting suppliers with the appropriate buyers.

Once applications for the event are submitted, Meijer teams will review and select the vendors they would like to meet with virtually through the ECRM Connect meeting platform. Suppliers not chosen for the event will still be accessible through RangeMe and may be reviewed by Meijer merchants again in the future as business needs change.

While they may not qualify for May’s event, diverse vendors carrying services or products outside of the categories mentioned above are encouraged to submit their information for consideration through the retailer’s prospective vendor page.

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based retailer that operates 256 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. It is a privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934.

The company was recently recognized as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality. See story, here.

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