US retailer Target has pledged to spend more than $2bn with black-owned businesses by the end of 2025.
The Minneapolis-based company said it plans to add products across various categories from more than 500 black-owned businesses and to allocate resources such as a specialist team to help black-owned suppliers grow their businesses.
The company said it was due to introduce a new programme called Forward Founders to help black entrepreneurs with concepts like product development and scaling for mass retail.
It will also provide access to subject matter experts and workshops.
Christina Hennington, executive vice-president and chief growth officer at Target, said: “We have a rich history of working with diverse businesses, but there’s more we can do to spark change across the retail industry (and) support the black community.
“The bold actions we’re announcing today... represent significant economic opportunity for hundreds of new black-owned companies, who we look forward to doing business with for years to come.”
Target said it had already introduced initiatives aimed at helping black-owned businesses such as the Target Accelerators programme, a three-month programme geared toward early stage start-ups, and the Black-Owned Business Vendor Fair.
It said in some product categories, such as beauty, it already had 50 black-owned and black-founded brands and planned to source from others.
The company established its Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee last year, which focused on issues such as hiring more black team members.
Last year, beauty retailer Sephora pledged to dedicate 15% of its shelf space to products produced by black-owned suppliers.
The move came in response to a campaign launched by designer Aurora James, founder of a luxury accessories brand, who asked major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to black-owned brands.
The 15% figure refers to the 15% of the US population estimated to be black.