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Target to spend over $ 2 billion in black-owned businesses

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Target will spend a total of more than $ 2 billion on black-owned businesses by 2025 as part of its efforts to advance racial equity.

This is a significant increase in overall spending for black-owned businesses, according to Target, although it declined more precisely on Wednesday.

The Minneapolis-based retailer will add a wide array of products from more than 500 black-owned businesses and increase spending on more black-owned businesses, from marketing to construction.

It will also introduce new resources, such as a dedicated team to help black-owned vendors scale their businesses to work with mass chains. The Forward Founders program builds on Target’s acceleration program that helps entrepreneurs.

Target and other companies have expanded their ties with black-owned vendors, rethinking marketing and adopting other initiatives in the wake of George Floyd’s death last summer that led to protests across the board. national campaign against political brutality and racial inequality.

The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of Floyd’s death, continued Wednesday in Minneapolis.

More than 20 companies, including Sephora, Gap and Macy’s, have signed a nationwide campaign called 15 Percent Pledge, which aims to get companies to pledge at least 15% of their products on their shelves to companies owned by companies. Blacks – consistent with the black population of the United States. Target’s engagement is unrelated to this campaign.

Aurora James, Founder and Creative Director of Brother Vellies, launched 15 Percent Pledge last year as a nonprofit advocacy group. She said in an interview with The Associated Press this week that the biggest problem for black businesses started is lack of access. James says his group is building a black-owned business database that helps retailers and brands connect with black entrepreneurs.

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson is a black specialist in digital marketing and brand development in the field of beauty and wellness. She has first-hand experience in bringing black-owned brands to Target and other stores. She believes the spending commitment at Target will make a difference.

“Ultimately, Target is creating the pipeline that will fundamentally change the way retailers deal with new brands entering their stores,” said Bracken-Ferguson.

But Jeffrey Robinson, associate professor and academic director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development at Rutgers Business School, said Target has the right approach, but the numbers seem “low” given the size of the retailer. For the fiscal year ended Jan. 30, Target generated annual revenue of $ 93.5 billion.

“I congratulate them for making this commitment, but let’s see if they can exceed it,” he said.

Target said it has actively sought more links with minority-owned businesses, but is still looking to improve its operations.

“We have a rich history of working with a variety of companies, but we can do more to spark change in the retail industry, support the Black community, and make Black customers feel welcomed and represented when they come. shop at Target, ”said Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer, in a prepared statement.

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