Meijer calls on BIPOC Michigan business owners to submit products



Meijer will host a Supplier Diversity product showcase event in September, giving Michigan businesses owned by Blacks, Indigenous people and people of color the opportunity to pitch their offerings to interested Meijer merchants.

The event will leverage the retailer’s partnership with Start Garden, a Grand Rapids-based business incubator focused on empowering startups through financial, intellectual and social capital. This will be the fourth supplier diversity event the retailer has hosted since 2020.

“Our supplier diversity efforts represent an ongoing commitment to our customers and our team members to deliver products and invest in partnerships that represent them and their communities,” said Peter Whitsett, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and marketing for Meijer. “We look forward to expanding our product assortment and creating a positive economic impact in our communities through this event.”

The multi-day event will be held in person and will focus on the following categories: clothing, footwear and accessories; and general merchandise.

Blacks, Natives, and Michigan Business-of-Color people with ready-made products in these categories can apply before August 27 for exam.

“Following the success of our first three supplier diversity virtual events, we are excited to try something a little different by focusing on local brands and providing a live opportunity for these suppliers to build relationships. with our team, ”said Jamie Akemann, Group Vice President. global sourcing, indirect purchasing, supplier diversity and product quality for Meijer.

Once applications are submitted, the Start Garden and Meijer teams will review and select the suppliers who will attend the September event. There, Meijer traders will meet selected vendors to learn more about their products, business models and growth plans through 5 minute presentations. After getting to know the participants, Meijer traders will assign retail opportunities to suppliers ready to expand into Meijer stores with products that will best serve their customers.

Salespeople who are not ready to receive commercial offers at that time will be invited to the retailer’s next Roadmap to Retail event to learn more important skills to help them be successful in the future. Through this event, Meijer plans to nurture long-term relationships with suppliers and help them become future partners.

In addition to partnering with Meijer to host this event, Start Garden is also one of the retailer’s racial inequity investment partners. In 2020, Start Garden was one of 22 Midwestern agencies to share a $ 5 million investment from Meijer to create a future of hope, equality and respect in black and African American communities.

Meijer, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., Operates 257 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.


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