Walgreens will hold a Supplier Diversity Summit — a virtual showcase for diverse businesses and entrepreneurs to share their retail offerings — the week of March 28, in partnership with RangeMe. The summit will provide diverse vendors the opportunity to connect with the Walgreens merchandising team, share their products and receive feedback, with the ultimate goal of being stocked on Walgreens shelves in their local areas.
Walgreens is aiming to increase sourcing from suppliers that are at least 51% owned, operated and managed by individuals who are disadvantaged, disabled, military veterans, LGBTQ+, minorities and/or women from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The summit will focus on products across grocery and household, beauty and personal care, health and wellness and general merchandise, among other categories.
“Meeting the needs of our diverse patients and customers is imperative to our role as America’s community healthcare destination,” said Alethia Jackson, SVP of Environmental, Social and Governance and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance in a statement. “We are looking forward to connecting with diverse suppliers that will ensure our shelves benefit everyone, providing a wider selection of products and services.”
All sourcing and product submissions will be made through RangeMe. The solution provider’s ECRM platform will qualify suppliers, create curated meeting schedules and facilitate face-to-face virtual meetings with Walgreens buyers to help suppliers introduce innovative products into the marketplace.
Diversity is of growing importance across retail, as showcased in two NRF 2023 keynotes:
- Target has been working to increase diversity from both ends of the business — from the top by ensuring women and minorities have high representation on its Board of Directors and leadership team, and from the bottom by including the voices of its more than 400,000 associates in setting its direction; and
- Macy’s has achieved goals for diversity in both advertising, with 50% representation of gender/gender identity, ethnicity, age, size and differently abled subjects, and sourcing, by achieving a diverse supplier spend of at least 5%, as it continues to build diversity among its leadership team.