Schnuck Markets Inc. has rolled out a supplier diversity initiative to boost supplier participation that reflects the diverse communities throughout the Midwest in which the grocer operates.
Under the new initiative, the company’s merchandising leaders will work to identify local suppliers that are at least 51% owned, operated and managed by people who are: disabled, LGBT, military veterans, minorities and/or women. To reach this goal, Schnucks is teaming up with Solon, Ohio-based Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) and RangeMe, an ECRM company based in San Francisco.
The expansion in diverse supplier reach is part of Schnucks’ overall diversity, equity and inclusion plan, Unity Is Power. The plan bolsters the company’s commitment to strive for inclusion and equity, not just for its employees, customers and communities, but also for its vendors.
“Schnucks is focused on nourishing people’s lives, not only by helping our customers to feed and care for their families, but also by actively working to strengthen our communities,” noted Schnucks Chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck. “We believe that investing in diverse suppliers aligns with our company’s values and supports our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.”
ECRM and RangeMe are helping Schnucks to source, qualify and connect diverse suppliers with the appropriate buyers. All sourcing and product submissions will be made through RangeMe’s product discovery and sourcing platform, and ECRM will qualify suppliers, create curated meeting schedules and facilitate face-to-face meeting execution with Schnucks buyers to introduce diverse suppliers into the marketplace. ECRM’s dedicated client support teams help to ensure that buyer and seller connections are executed seamlessly.
“We are excited to partner with such an innovative retailer on an initiative that will shine a light on up-and-coming diverse suppliers,” said Wayne Bennett, SVP of retail for Solon, Ohio-based ECRM. “Schnucks’ pledge to improve and strengthen their local communities through supplier diversity is something we are honored and eager to assist with.”
As shown by Schnucks’ recent partnerships with St. Louis-area Black-owned restaurants, the grocer’s supplier diversity program will advance an inclusive approach by carrying products from these and other diverse businesses in its stores.
“We want our suppliers to be more reflective of the communities we serve,” explained Schnucks Director of Supplier Diversity and Category Planning Adrian Moore. “It is imperative to work with diverse suppliers in order to bring our customers the products they are looking for when they visit our stores, and also to do our part to support equity and inclusion in our communities.”
Meijer also uses the RangeMe platform to manage the submission process for its diversity and inclusion program for suppliers.
St. Louis-based Schnucks operates 112 stores, serving customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and employs more than 14,000 associates. The company is No. 67 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer, with more than 245 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, is No.19 on PG’s list.