Retail giant Target says they will spend $2 billion with Black-owned businesses. The discount retailer says they will enlist the services of Black-owned suppliers and companies. This is not the retailer’s first show of support for the Black community. Target’s beauty department carries 50 Black-owned or founded brands. The company says it would like to add more in other merchandise categories. Last year Target pledged to increase Black representation in its workforce by 20% over the next three years. They have also committed to donating $10 million to nonprofits that address the obstacles Black communities face.
Target’s announcement comes as recent protests over the senseless murders of Black and Brown people are happening at an alarming rate across the country. Protesters have called on big corporations like Target to do more than write a check. Christina Hennington, Chief Growth Officer for Target released a statement saying, “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” plans to show their support of racial equality by investing in the Black community.
Target has plans to fill its shelves with products from over 500 black-owned companies by 2025. The retailer also says they will hire black-owned advertising firms and construction companies. Other plans include launching a program called Forward Founders. This new program will help Black entrepreneurs with their start-up businesses. Participants will receive help with product development and testing. They will also receive help with scaling products to sell at mass retailers.
Target is not the first large retailer to pledge its support to the Black community. Recently companies like Nike, Macy’s, and Sephora have all stepped up to show their support.
Paula J. Shelton is a freelance writer and journalist based in Chicago. Find her on social @beboldshineon.