Michigan-based Meijer wants to offer more products from local vendors at its stores.
The retailer, which operates 262 stores throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Wisconsin, seeks submissions from local and diverse-owned companies focusing on general merchandise and apparel. Interested vendors must provide video submissions, describing their brand and products, by Sept. 18 to be considered for the opportunity to pitch to Meijer merchants at a live virtual event this fall.
“While we've made great strides to ensure our vendors represent our customers in terms of both diversity and geography across our stores, we're excited to hold this event that specifically focuses on general merchandise and apparel,” said Peter Whitsett, Meijer executive vice president of merchandising and marketing.
The retailer's latest supplier diversity initiative targets certified minority-, LGBTQ+-, woman-, veteran- and disability-owned businesses based anywhere in the country, as well as Midwest vendors based within Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
Diverse or locally owned brands with retail-ready products in the general merchandise or apparel categories can submit their entries online. As part of the application process, vendors must submit brief, three-minutes-or-less videos that provide background on their business and products.
The videos can be created on smartphones and don't need to be professionally produced; however, they must include the following information:
- Introduction of themselves and their business
- Detailed descriptions of the products they offer
- Background on their production and supply chain
- Recommended retail price
Meijer teams will review and select finalists. Finalists will submit additional details via the retailer's partner, RangeMe, and attend a training session before pitching their products live to Meijer merchants.