BENTONVILLE – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. expanded its business with minority- and women-owned companies by more than 25 percent in 2008, according to recently verified figures. In the midst of a struggling economy, where businesses across the country have been forced to close or drastically reduce capacity and workforce, Wal-Mart increased its combined direct and second tier spend to more than $8.1 billion with minority- and women-owned businesses.
In 2008, Wal-Mart’s direct spend with minority- and women-owned businesses was more than $6 billion, with second-tier spending totaling more than $2 billion. Second-tier spend is an accounting of suppliers that subcontract with prime suppliers on Wal-Mart business. Wal-Mart’s spend numbers are verified by CVM Solutions, a third-party enterprise supplier management company.
Wal-Mart’s direct spend with diverse suppliers was more than $4.8 billion in 2007, totaling more than $6 billion when accounting for second-tier spend. The nearly $2 billion overall increase in the 2008 total is a reflection of the company’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, vice president of Supplier Diversity at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “We are proud of the fact that, in 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 began its supplier diversity program in 1994. Through its mission, Wal-Mart’s supplier diversity team partners with businesses of all sizes, industries and areas of the country.
As part of its efforts to stay connected to the best and brightest diverse suppliers, Wal-Mart partners with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and several other organizations across the country, to identify potential partners.
“Wal-Mart has been an important partner, supporting our programs and initiatives, as well as continuously creating new ways for outstanding women-owned businesses to sell their products and services through Wal-Mart — sometimes starting in just one store and then growing to become a major vendor throughout the chain,” said Linda J. Denny, president and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). “Wal-Mart’s dedication to increased spending with women-led companies translates to growth, financial stability and increased employment in communities across the country.”
In addition to the relationships Wal-Mart maintains with partner organizations, the company is also dedicated to investing in opportunities that assist the establishment and growth of minority- and women-owned businesses. For example:
– 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 ten scholarships to the Tuck School of Business’ Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. The Tuck School has 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 organization is comprised 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 enhance the growth of Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses Enterprises (MWBE) certified businesses.
For more information on Wal-Mart and its supplier diversity efforts, or if you are interesting in becoming a supplier, please visit www.walmartstores.com/diversity.