Target is pledging to add products from more than 500 Black-owned businesses to its inventory by the end of 2025.
The retailer also announced Wednesday that it will spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025, which includes marketing agencies, construction companies, facilities maintenance providers and others.
“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,” Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer, said in a statement Wednesday.
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In recent months, Black-owned businesses and brands have seen more support in a push for social and economic justice in the wake of protests against police brutality and renewed attention to the nation’s decades-long racial wealth gap.
Hennington said Target’s “bold actions” are part of the company’s commitment to advance racial equity for the Black community. “They also represent significant economic opportunity for hundreds of new Black-owned companies, who we look forward to doing business with for years to come,” she said.
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And the resonance of the products and representation in general, like brown-skinned mermaids on children’s sheets, with Black shoppers can be seen as members of Target-focused Facebook groups like Black Women Who Love TARGET share these finds and talk about snapping up the products.
After George Floyd, a Black man who died under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis – where Target is headquartered – the company announced it was donating $10 million to “support nonprofit partners focused on addressing the systemic and structural barriers facing Black communities.”
The company created the REACH (Racial Equity Action and Change) committee and in September, announced plans to increase the diversity of its workforce, pledging to grow its percentage of Black employees by 20% over the next three years.
Support for Black businesses
Target said it is establishing resources to support Black-owned businesses and help them grow. One of the programs, Forward Founders, will “engage Black entrepreneurs earlier in their startup journey to help them navigate the critical stages of ideation, product development and scaling for mass retail.”
Through existing programs like Target Accelerators and events like the Black-Owned Business Vendor Fair, Target says it has previously brought in diverse businesses. On its website, Target said between 2016 and 2018, it has increased “business with diverse suppliers by 64.4%.”
A list of the brands and the products are posted on Target.com on its Black Beyond Measure page under “Buy Black.” In beauty, Target says it has a “strong representation of 50 Black-owned and Black-founded brands, with plans to continue to grow the assortment.”
Mented Cosmetics is one of those businesses, said Amanda E. Johnson, co-founder and chief operations officer of the beauty brand, in a video released by Target Wednesday.
“We are a pigment-first beauty brand celebrating women of all hues,” Johnson said, adding Target looks after the small brands and helps owners understand the business. “We knew what it felt like to be othered, and to not have products that truly were made for you, and to not feel like you were a part of the beauty community. … Mented seeks to change all of that.”
Pernell Cezar, co-founder and CEO of BLK & Bold Specialty Coffee, said having one of the largest retailers investing in Black-owned businesses “not only impacts the economics of the Black community, but our society as a whole.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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