Best Buy Promises to Spend $1.2B on BIPOC Suppliers by 2025
Richfield-based Best Buy Co. Inc. on Thursday announced plans to spend $1.2 billion with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses over the next four years.
The announcement mirrors an announcement made by fellow Minnesota-based retailer Target Corp. this spring. In April, Target pledged to spend $2 billion on Black-owned businesses by 2025.
In July 2020, Best Buy committed to providing “support” for Black-owned suppliers but did not mention a specific dollar amount.
In a news release issued Tuesday, Best Buy said the latest initiative is designed “to create a stronger community of diverse suppliers and to help increase BIPOC representation in the tech industry.”
The retailer says it will provide more than financial support for BIPOC suppliers; Best Buy will also offer resources related to supply chain, sourcing, and product development. That could include product feedback for BIPOC businesses. The company may even allow suppliers to use its own distribution network to fulfill product orders, according to the release.
“There is more work to do to make the kind of systemic permanent changes necessary to achieve racial and social equity in our company and our communities,” said Best Buy CEO Corie Barry in the release. “We are just getting started.”
At the same time, Best Buy also plans to partner with venture capital firms to help BIPOC businesses get better access to funding. The retailer also says it will “build partnerships” with historically Black colleges and universities to help boost the number of BIPOC suppliers working in tech. The broader goal, the company said, is to “help create a pipeline of BIPOC professionals and entrepreneurs.”
A year ago, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Barry vowed to establish dozens of “Teen Tech Centers,” which are aimed at helping underserved youth build tech skills. In December 2020, the company outlined a few other specific diversity-related initiatives, including spending $44 million to expand college prep opportunities for BIPOC students.