Best Buy to Spend $1.2 Billion With Diverse Businesses by 2025
(Bloomberg) -- Best Buy Co. says it will spend at least $1.2 billion with businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and other people of color by 2025, as U.S. companies expand pledges toward racial equity a year after last summer’s protests.
The money will go to suppliers, advertising, and media. The electronics retailer will send 10% of its media spend to BIPOC media and it also committed to requiring diverse production crews and cast members in at least 30% of its paid advertising. Best Buy didn’t specify how much money it would allocate to specific parts of the supply chain or vendors.
“We are just getting started,” Chief Executive Officer Corie Barry said in a statement released Thursday.
Like most major U.S. companies, Best Buy put out a statement following the murder of George Floyd in its home state of Minnesota last year. In it, Barry apologized for not doing enough to tackle racial inequality and that month created a task force meant to challenge senior leadership to address inequities and injustices at the company. Six months later, it committed to filling a third of its corporate jobs with people of color over the next five years.
Other companies and competitors have made similar or bigger commitments. Cheap-chic retailer Target Corp., also based in Minnesota, said in April it would spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025. It pledged to add products from more than 500 Black-owned brands to its stores and help Black vendors expand their sales in big-box retail. It didn’t go as far as signing the 15% Pledge, which dedicates shelf space or a purchasing budget to Black-owned businesses, and neither has Best Buy.
Best Buy said it will support the growth of minority business by giving them access to the company's supply chain, sourcing and product development.
While companies are increasingly trumpeting new actions to help minorities and reduce inequality since last year's protests brought the issue to the forefront in the U.S., it’s not yet clear that the initiatives have actually translated to significant new opportunities or improvements.
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