Foot Locker Commits $200 Million to Support the Black Community

Foot Locker Inc. will invest $200 million over the next five years to support the Black community through economic development and education initiatives.

On the economic development front, the company will put money into Black-owned businesses within youth culture.

Further, Foot Locker will increase its global supplier and agency investments in Black-owned businesses and purchase more products from Black-owned brands, as well as up its marketing spend with Black entrepreneurs, creators and collaborators. Additionally, the corporation will donate to organizations that create economic development and advancement opportunities for minorities.

In terms of education, Foot Locker has pledged to implement internship, mentorship and community outreach programs for Black team members and communities, as well as to invest in education programs for Black staffers through its employee resource group — and to fund training for Black creatives at Pensole Footwear Design Academy.

Further, the company will extend its Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program to benefit additional students of color, and it will direct a portion of proceeds from its “On Our Feet” gala to beneficiaries supporting the Black community.

“We stand resolute in our commitment to fight racial inequality and injustice. This commitment extends beyond words. It is part of our culture and the way we operate as an inclusive and diverse organization,” wrote Foot Locker chairman and CEO Dick Johnson in an open letter. “We recognize that Black culture plays a pivotal role in shaping sneaker culture — the foundation of our business at Foot Locker, Inc.”

Foot Locker will hold itself accountable to its commitment by publishing an annual report card outlining its progress. The expectation, Johnson said, is that the commitment “will manifest in many ways and across many parts of our business,” with staying power beyond the initial five years.

Amid a national conversation about race and diversity — sparked following the March 25 killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by a white police officer — companies across all industries are being called on to reflect on their own practices and to push for positive change. Numerous retailers, including H&M, Puma and Tommy Hilfiger parent PVH Corp., have announced donations to organizations fighting racial injustice. And similar to Foot Locker, Walmart and Nike have pledged tens of millions of dollars to support the Black community over a multiyear period.

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