Wal-Mart Sees Record Increase in Business With Minority, Women-Owned Suppliers

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Wal-Mart Sees Record Increase in Business With Minority, Women-Owned Suppliers

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. expanded its business with minority- and women-owned companies by over 25 percent in 2008, according to figured released by the company and verified by third-party enterprise supplier management company CVM Solutions. Despite a flailing economy, Wal-Mart increased its combined direct and second tier spend to more than $8.1 billion with minority- and women-owned businesses.

Last year, Wal-Mart's direct spend with minority- and women-owned businesses came to more than $6 billion, with second-tier spending totaling over $2 billion. Second-tier spend is an accounting of suppliers that subcontract with prime suppliers on Wal-Mart business. Wal-Mart's direct spend with diverse suppliers was more than $4.8 billion in 2007, reaching more than $6 billion when accounting for second-tier spend. The almost $2 billion overall increase in the 2008 total reflects the mega-retailer's commitment to diversity, its customers and local communities.

"At Wal-Mart, we know we can make a difference in the communities we serve, and our commitment extends to minority- and women-owned businesses at the local level," said Theresa Barrera, Wal-Mart Stores VP of supplier diversity. "We [I]n these difficult financial times, we are able to deepen our commitment to these important partners -- giving them the potential to grow, while enabling Wal-Mart to deliver and sell the goods and services our customers want."

Wal-Mart rolled out its supplier diversity program in 1994, under which it works with businesses of all sizes, industries and parts of the country. The company additionally teams with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as several other organizations across the United States, to identify potential partners.

In addition to the relationships Wal-Mart has with partner organizations, the company invests in opportunities that help the establishment and growth of minority- and women-owned businesses, including the following:

--Wal-Mart and Sam's Club have held supplier fairs, and other events, across the country, giving diverse suppliers the opportunity to meet with Walmart and Sam's Club buyers.
--Wal-Mart granted 10 scholarships to the Tuck School of Business' Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, which offers two minority business programs that focus on strategic planning, financial control systems and internal growth strategies. Ten more sponsorships are planned for 2009.
--Wal-Mart is a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an organization dedicated to the success of minority- and women-owned businesses. The Billion Dollar Roundtable consists of public companies that spend more than $1 billion each with minority- and women-owned enterprises.
-- Wal-Mart invested $25 million in the Pinnacle Minority Supplier Development Fund, a private equity co-investment fund designed to further grow Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses Enterprises (MWBE) certified businesses.