Albertsons looking for diverse suppliers

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Richard Mitchell | Jan 14, 2023


The retailer is accepting applications from underrepresented vendors

Albertsons Companies Inc. is soliciting applications at it seeks to provide opportunities for what it said are underrepresented suppliers.

The application process is part of Albertsons’ Supplier Diversity Program, which is designed to identify and support individual, small, and mid-size businesses that are at least 51% owned, controlled, and operated by such segments as women, Black, indigenous and people of color, LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities who can offer products that appeal to the varied tastes and preferences of a diverse customer base, the company said.

The program also is intended to help diverse suppliers overcome barriers to entry.

“For many small and medium-sized businesses, access to working capital is critical to ensuring their operations grow and thrive,” Albertsons said in a statement.

The retailer is collaborating with financial technology firm C2FO to enable diverse-owned businesses to receive early payment terms on approved invoices.

“Diverse suppliers enable us to continually deliver product innovation and cultural relevance to our shelves, ensuring our curated local assortments are inclusive of the diverse communities we proudly serve,” Monique Lanaux, Albertsons GVP and chief talent & diversity officer, said in a statement.

Albertsons is accepting applications online until January 23 from qualified business owners interested in having their products considered for one or more company banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, and Shaw’s.

The Albertsons program is part of a broader retail industry movement toward supporting diverse businesses. McKinsey & Co., a New York-based global management consulting firm, said that top retailers pledged billions of dollars in 2020 and 2021 in support of diverse suppliers and minority- and women-owned businesses.

In addition to offering those suppliers more outlets for their products, diversity programs also can influence shopper behavior. McKinsey reports that 49% percent of Gen Z consumers and 44% of millennials take Black ownership into account when considering purchases.

In an October 2021 McKinsey survey, two-thirds of Americans said social values shape their shopping choices, and 45%, which McKinsey said likely represents well over a hundred million shoppers, believe retailers should actively support Black-owned businesses and brands.

“Coupled with the fact that many retailers have made pledges to support diverse brands, this suggests that retailers can fulfill their aspirations for racial equity and capture inclusive consumer purchase behavior, particularly in an environment of significant consumer switching,” McKinsey said. “Now is the time for retailers to showcase, sell, and support diverse-owned brands on their shelves.”

Richard Mitchell | Jan 14, 2023


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