New initiative launches with recognition of African American vendor partners throughout the month of February
Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ:WAG), the nation’s largest drugstore chain, recently introduced its new Community Corner program designed to highlight the successes of minority owned businesses. This first-of-its-kind supplier diversity initiative is designed to allow consumers to easily identify and purchase products produced by diverse companies. Walgreens will recognize these vendor partners through print advertisements, in-store announcements, coupon booklets, shelf tags, in-store product demonstrations and Walgreens.com. The company will launch the program featuring products made by African American vendors throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month.
During February, Walgreens will showcase the following African American produced brands: African Royale Hot Six Oil, Angelica’s Cakes, Bronner Brothers Pump It Up! Spritz, Evolve Purse Size Styling Brush, High Time Bump Stopper-2 Razor Bump Treatment, Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel, Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer, Mix Match Gourmet Popcorn, Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil No-Lye Relaxer Kit, Pepsom Sports Epsom Salt, Porcelana Night Skin Lightening Cream, Reggio’s Pizza, Rejuvenizer Diabetic Sock, Richards Ice Cream, Sheenique Relaxer, Stay Smooth No-Bump Gel, Ultra Sheen Relaxer Pack, WavEnforcer Premium Do- Rag, and 2010 Black History Calendar. Six African American- owned magazines Ebony, Black Enterprise, Jet, The Source, Sister to Sister and Upscale will also be featured.
On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5 and 6, select Walgreens locations will host special events featuring products from the vendors above. Customers will have the opportunity to try featured products and take home samples.
From personal care, to diabetic needs, to magazines and hair care needs, Walgreens stores reflect the diversity of the neighborhoods they serve. Diversity is a business imperative for Walgreens and as an active and ever-present economic factor in thousands of communities, the company has long embraced diversity not only in the people it employs, but also in the array of community-built brands it selects to meet the needs of its broad consumer base. Walgreens plans to expand the new Community Corner program to feature products of businesses owned by women, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans at different points throughout the year.
“Providing a platform such as Community Corner to showcase these vendors creates an opportunity for consumers to instantly influence economic growth in their communities,” said director of supplier diversity, Gleatha Glispie. “Walgreens outreach programs foster an environment that enhances the development of a diverse group of entrepreneurs. We plan to promote wider vendor participation throughout the year, and in this way, help support the economic base of the communities we serve across our 7,100 stores.”
Walgreens expects its Community Corner program to drive awareness for its diverse suppliers in a new, more tangible level in local communities. In addition to promoting these suppliers products in stores, the company is developing ongoing relationships with community organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the National Urban League. For example, the NUL Wellness Tour is now entering its third year of offering free health screenings in underserved communities.
“I congratulate Walgreens on continuing to make supplier diversity an essential business strategy even as many have scaled back efforts in this tight economy,” said National Minority Supplier Development Council President Harriet R. Michel. “Giving shoppers the ability to identify and support diverse business is an innovative approach that I believe can have a lasting impact on the growth and continued success of these companies.”
“We’re extremely proud to represent these important vendor partnerships in such a visible and relevant way for everyday shoppers,” said Glispie. “This is another example of the many ways we’re working to strengthen these relationships each day. We’ll start by honoring Black History Month, but just like the many accomplishments of African Americans in this country, our commitment to diversity is ongoing. This is just the beginning.”