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Diverse Business Owners Industry Updates Retail Industry Updates

How Albertsons Cos. Plans to Boost Supplier Diversity

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Albertsons Cos. said it is launching several new vendor partnerships aimed at helping the grocery company boost supplier diversity as the company reaffirms its commitment to racial equity.

“Albertsons Cos. is dedicated to helping our communities lay the foundation for racial equity,” said Jonathan Mayes, senior vice president and chief diversity & inclusion officer for the Boise, Idaho-based company. “We’re taking these steps as part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our company and the businesses we choose to partner with so that we reflect the wonderfully diverse communities we serve.”

Given one of the biggest hurdles for small businesses is access to working capital, Albertsons Cos. is launching an expanded early payment program by partnering with C2FO, a secure online platform for working capital, as part of this program. Albertsons said the partnership with C2FO will help determine the best time and terms for payments between the company and its suppliers. The goal is to help diverse-owned businesses alleviate immediate capital challenges by making access to working capital more equitable by providing funding to qualified, diverse-owned suppliers at significantly lower rates, according to Albertsons Cos., which operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under more than 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme and several others.

“Accelerated payment of receivables is essential for all businesses in need of greater liquidity, but especially for those that may be underrepresented and underfunded in our current financial system,” said Alexander “Sandy” Kemper, founder and CEO of C2FO. “We want to position these diverse suppliers for long-term success and can start by offering the working capital needed to grow and stay strong in this difficult economic climate.”

Albertsons Cos. also plans to work with ECRMRangeMe and Quantum to expand supplier diversity. ECRM and RangeMe will help identify small, innovative, diverse suppliers. Quantum, an e-procurement and diversity spend management solution, will enhance Albertsons Cos.’ ability to identify diverse-owned and operated suppliers.  

Earlier this month, Albertsons Cos. said it hosted a summit with over 130 diverse suppliers interested in doing business with the company.

“We believe our partnerships with these vendors will give us the tools we need to expand our supplier diversity in all areas of our business,” Mayes said. “We hope it will also make it easier for diverse suppliers to work with us.”

Albertsons Cos. said the supplier diversity program applies to the following groups that are over 50% owned and controlled/operated by a U.S. citizen and one of the following categories or ethnicities:

• African American;

• Asian American;

• Hispanic;

• Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender;

• Native American;

• Service-disabled veteran; and

• female.

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