SOUTHPORT, Conn. — DiversityBusiness.com earlier this month named the “Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities." More than 1.3 million diversity business owners participated in an online election to determine the “Top” 50 organizations. Wal-Mart Stores was named the leading retailer and No. 2 overall for providing business opportunities to diverse business owners throughout the United States. Food, drug and mass retailers Kroger (No. 11), Target (No. 18), Supervalu (No. 23), Walgreens (No. 26) and Ahold USA (No. 42) were also identified as leaders in providing business opportunities to diversity owners.
“The diversity practices of the Div50 has changed the course of economic inclusion and thereby the world as we know it," said Kenton Clarke, CEO of DiversityBusiness.com. “The great diversity and vision of our country and our people have made this possible.”
While other awards and “Top” lists crown companies for such metrics as overall economic growth and returns to shareholders, The Div50 is an indicator of which organizations provide the best and the most business for diversity-owned companies. “In a marketplace that is increasingly as sensitive to diversity as it is to revenues, awarding the top buyers of multicultural products and services is becoming a natural part of the new socioeconomic food chain. Organizations that consistently buy the most products and services from diversity businesses, and that sustain the most mutually beneficial business relationships with their multicultural suppliers, should be recognized not only by the business community but also by the general public. That is what we have accomplished in creating The Div50.” Clarke said.
"This recognition means a lot to Kroger because it is a reflection of how we are viewed by diversity business owners in the United States," said Reuben Shaffer, Kroger's chief diversity officer, in a statement released Wednesday. "We thank the more than 1,000 minority and women-owned businesses that are part of our supplier network for their commitment to our shared goals to continue growing and responding to our customers." Kroger currently spends nearly $2 billion annually with diversity businesses, Kroger reported.