“Our partnerships with vendors in our footprint allow us to directly impact our local economies,” said Peter Whitsett, Meijer executive vice president of merchandising and marketing. “By featuring local products, we’re able to support small businesses while providing our customers with a greater sense of community, offering items that resonate with their values and culture. This event helps us find those unique products and continue sourcing locally.”
Taking place from July 19 to 21, the virtual event will focus on the grocery, fresh, deli and bakery, baby, beauty and personal care, and over-the-counter wellness categories.
Businesses that manufacture or grow retail-ready products in the states of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin can apply for consideration by May 20 online.
“After a successful first event, we’re excited to further grow our community of local business vendors,” said Jamie Akemann, group vice president of global sourcing, indirect procurement, supplier diversity and product quality at Meijer. “This isn’t just an opportunity for fully-developed brands, but a chance for us to build relationships with small, local businesses and invest in their long-term success.”
Once applications are submitted, Meijer teams will review and select the vendors they would like to meet with and will be invited to a virtual or in-person meeting. Suppliers who are not chosen for the event will still be accessible through RangeMe registration tools and may be reviewed by the retailer’s buyers again in the future as business needs change, the company said.
The Lift Local Supplier Event follows Meijer’s third supplier diversity event, which was held in March, and had buyers, as well as procurement teams, meet with more than 200 certified minority, LGBTQ+, women, veteran and disability owned businesses to diversify its vendor base and better serve customers.