Target is stepping up its investment in the Black community with a new commitment to spend more than $2 billion on Black-owned businesses by 2025, including marketing agencies, construction companies, facilities maintenance and much more.
"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," Target chief growth officer and executive vice president Christina Hennington said in a statement.
The retailer has pledged to add products across a multi-category assortment from more than 500 Black-owned businesses and to engage more Black-owned companies to enhance its retail operations and shopping experience.
In addition to their monetary investment, Target is also providing more resources through its new Forward Founders program.
Forward Founders, which builds off of Target's Accelerators program and Black-Owned Business Vendor Fair and was co-created with Black entrepreneurs from its advisory council, offers a team of experts and educational workshops to Black business owners just starting out that will help them develop their products and grow their retail business.
In its beauty category alone, Target currently has 50 Black-owned and Black-founded brand partners, including Mented Cosmetics, which "celebrates women of all hues" by offering pigment-based beauty products.
Mented Cosmetics co-founder and chief operating officer Amanda Johnson emphasized that it's important for Target and other retailers to support Black businesses because the company has "the authority and the reach to really help put brands on the map."
BLK & Bold, a speciality coffee brand which donates 5% of its profits to organizations across the U.S. that support youth in need, has also partnered with Target.
"Having a partner that’s willing to help see where you’re going but also work with you where you are is just monumental validation for a business and entrepreneur that’s early in what they’re building," BLK & Bold co-founder and CEO Pernell Cezar said. "When you can have the largest retailers in the world to invest into black-owned businesses that are on the front lines of the product, services, and innovation from the black community, and creating a bridge to households across America, it not only impacts the economics of the black community, but our society as a whole."
The move is Target's latest commitment to social justice and racial equity.
Target recently established a Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee, which includes senior leaders from across the company who offer diverse perspectives and expertise to help guide the retailer's efforts to help end systemic racism in the United States. The company said in its Workforce Diversity report in September that it would increase its representation of Black team members in its stores by 20% over the next three years.
The Minneapolis-based retailer also committed $10 million in June to support the city's rebuilding efforts following civil unrest that broke out in response to the death of George Floyd as well as nonprofits focused on address systemic and structural barriers facing Black communities.
In addition, Target has partnered with OneTen, a coalition of companies looking to train, hire and advance 1 million Black Americans without a four-year college degree over the next decade into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement, and has joined the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's National Racial Equity Initiative, which is focused on removing inequities in areas including education, economic opportunity and law enforcement.
The company also funds a grant program established in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to dismantle systemic racism and advance police reform.