Meijer summit eyes supplier diversity

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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Meijer is set to hold its first-ever Supplier Diversity Summit. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer’s digital event is aimed at giving diverse-owned businesses an opportunity to get their products in front of Meijer merchants and potentially onto the chain’s shelves. 

"Focusing on supplier diversity is an important part of our diversity, equity and inclusion journey," Meijer president and CEO Rick Keyes said. "While we have always valued diverse partnerships, this event exemplifies our commitment to building a more inclusive vendor community which will better serve our customers."

The event, slated for Nov. 12, will focus on beauty and personal care, OTC and wellness, general merchandise and grocery categories. Businesses with retail-ready products owned by minorities, anyone in the LGBTQ+ or disabled communities, women and veterans can apply by Friday, Oct. 9 for consideration here. A Meijer spokesperson said that alongside retail-ready brands, the company also is interested in meeting with potential private label vendors in these categories who fit these criteria. 

"At Meijer, we believe our partners should reflect the communities we serve," said Jamie Akemann, group vice president of indirect procurement and supplier diversity at Meijer. “This event gives us the opportunity to partner with diverse suppliers to empower them and provide economic support that will be felt throughout our communities, allowing us to better embody our mission of enriching lives in the communities we serve."

To host the event, Meijer is partnering with ECRM and its product discovery tool RangeMe to leverage the ECRM Connect virtual platform. 

Once applications are submitted, Meijer teams will review entries and select the vendors they would like to meet at the virtual summit. Suppliers not chosen for the summit will still be accessible within RangeMe and may be reviewed in the future by Meijer merchants. The company also noted that any companies with diverse owners outside of the event’s categories can submit their information for consideration through the retailer’s prospective vendor page.