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Kroger Celebrates Small Business Week and Offers Retail Partnership Guidebook to Advance Supplier Inclusion

Kroger Celebrates Small Business Week and Offers Retail Partnership Guidebook to Advance Supplier Inclusion


CINCINNATI, OH
Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

National Small Business Week took place this year from May 2 to May 8. Kroger is celebrating the occasion by focusing on the efforts of local businesses. To do so, the retailer is embarking on a few new initiatives, including the launch of its Small Business Resource Guide, as part of its Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan. Through its actions, Kroger has achieved $4.1 billion in diverse supplier spending in 2020.

Rodney McMullen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kroger“In 2020, Kroger achieved $4.1 billion in diverse supplier spend, representing an increase of 21 percent versus a year ago and build on our commitment to reach $10 billion in diverse supplier spend by 2030. We remain committed to doing the work to advance our longstanding and nationally recognized supplier inclusion program, reflecting partnerships with entrepreneurs of color, women, and veterans as well as companies founded by the LGBTQ+ community and business operators with intellectual and physical disabilities,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s Chairman and CEO. “Greater racial, gender, health, and wealth equity will drive true and long-lasting change and better outcomes in our country. And as America’s grocer, we’re honored to play a role in driving this change as an employer, grocery provider, and community partner.”

The plan features steps developed in collaboration with associates and leaders to accelerate and promote greater change in the workplace and in the communities the organization serves.

Angel Colón, Senior Director of Corporate and Supplier Diversity, Kroger“Through Kroger’s supplier inclusion program, we support, mentor, promote, and grow diverse-owned enterprises across our thriving operation. We currently work with more than 1,600 diverse suppliers, ranging from food and beverage to health and beauty and product distributors to service providers,” said Angel Colón, Kroger’s Senior Director of Corporate and Supplier Diversity. “As a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, we continue to partner with diverse businesses in innovative ways, including by investing in incubators and accelerators, expanding relationships with existing partners, hosting and participating in supplier summits, and through partnerships with leading certifying agencies.”

Last year, stated the release, Kroger introduced 107 new diverse suppliers, a 91 percent increase versus 2019. Of these suppliers, five played a leading role in supplying Kroger with personal protective equipment during the peak of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Kroger is launching its Small Business Resource Guide as part of its Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan

In honor of National Small Business Week, Kroger published its Small Business Resource Guide developed to help brands and producers establish and grow retail partnerships. The free downloadable resource shares best practices on product development, pricing, supply chain, promotion, research and preparation, outreach, and partnership development.

“We believe our recently published Small Business Resource Guide, featuring partnership success spotlights from companies like Cacique, 4Sisters Rice, TrueChoicePack, and True Shea, will be a useful tool for many companies and help us as we continue to seek out new partners and expand existing relationships,” continued Colón.

As a part of Kroger’s commitment to advance diverse partnerships, earlier this year the company hosted its third annual Supplier Inclusion Innovation Summit, inviting 25 suppliers to attend. During the event, participants received coaching from Kroger merchandising, business development, and supplier inclusion leaders and the opportunity to pitch their products. To continue broadening its offerings, Kroger will launch an open call later this month inviting local and regional fresh food producers to participate in its search for new and innovative suppliers.

The plan features steps developed in collaboration with associates and leaders to accelerate and promote greater change in the workplace and in the communities Kroger serves

In addition, Kroger has also recently joined P&G and MORTAR to pilot the Multicultural Entrepreneurship Development program, focusing on enabling entrepreneurs to reach their fullest potential. The multi-month program launched last month and runs through the summer.

Tim Massa, Chief People Officer, Kroger“Kroger is elated to welcome, share insights, and present industry-leading business development curriculum as well as learn from the inaugural cohort of 13 local entrepreneurs,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s Chief People Officer. “Stronger diverse businesses create stronger communities and produce greater innovation and collaboration. At Kroger, we remain focused on continuing to grow our business to better serve our associates and customers, so it’s imperative that we continue to find new ways to listen and learn, uplift other businesses, and bring in additional perspectives and products.”

To learn more about Kroger’s latest initiative, click here.

Deli Market News will continue to keep an eye on the retail sector for the latest updates and developments.

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