Target Corp. is doubling down on its commitment to advance racial equity for the Black community.
The big-box chain said today it plans to spend upwards of $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by the end of 2025. As part of the pledge, it aims to add products from 500-plus Black-owned brands to its website and shelves, as well as hire more Black-owned companies, from marketing to construction and facilities maintenance.
What’s more, Target promised to establish a program called Forward Founders to help identify and support Black entrepreneurs “earlier in their startup journey” in the stages of ideation, product development and scaling for mass retail. The program would also allow selected vendors to access experts and educational workshops.
“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,” EVP and chief growth officer Christina Hennington said in a statement. “The bold actions we’re announcing today … represent significant economic opportunity for hundreds of new Black-owned companies, who we look forward to doing business with for years to come.”
Over the past year, as America faced a racial reckoning following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Target’s home city of Minneapolis, the company has taken steps to address diversity within its own workforce. In June, the retailer and its namesake foundation allocated $10 million to support nonprofit organizations focused on addressing the systemic and structural barriers experienced by the Black community.
In September, timed with the release of its Workforce Diversity Report, the Minneapolis-based business said it would increase the representation of Black employees by 20% over the next three years and develop programs to hire and retain Black workers in career areas with low levels of representation — including technology, data sciences, merchandising and marketing. It has also established the Racial Equity Action and Change (or REACH) committee, composed of senior leaders like SVP of marketing Maurice Cooper and chief external engagement officer Laysha Ward, to help advance companywide DE&I initiatives.