Target revealed plans Wednesday to spend 200 times that total—$2 billion—at Black-owned businesses over the next five years.
As part of this effort, the retailer said it will add products from more than 500 Black-owned vendors. To further help entrepreneurs, Target also introduced an initiative it has dubbed Forward Founders. Building off the company’s Target Accelerators, the new program will help Black entrepreneurs early in their startup journey navigate ideation, product development and scaling for mass retail, it said.
In addition to supporting vendors, Target noted, the $2 billion investment will also go toward increasing the company’s spend with other Black-owned businesses, such as marketing agencies and construction companies.
“We have a rich history of working with diverse businesses, but there’s more we can do to spark change across the retail industry, support the Black community and ensure Black guests feel welcomed and represented when they shop at Target,” Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer at Target, said in a statement. “The bold actions we’re announcing today reflect Target’s ongoing commitment to advance racial equity for the Black community. They also represent significant economic opportunity for hundreds of new Black-owned companies, who we look forward to doing business with for years to come.”
Target’s planned investment follows a September commitment to increase the representation of Black employees by 20 percent over the next three years. According to the company’s 2019 data, people of color represent 50 percent of its workforce and 24 percent of its leadership team.
Target achieved record growth in 2020, growing total revenue to $93.56 billion, a 19.8 percent increase compared to the prior year. Net income, meanwhile, rose 33.1 percent to $4.37 billion.