Meijer Expands Supplier Inclusion Efforts with Inaugural Veteran-Owned Business "Roadmap to Retail" Event

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 18, 2023 ~ In support of Military Family Appreciation month this upcoming November, Meijer announced today it will host its virtual "Roadmap to Retail" event for veteran-owned businesses. The event will offer qualified vendors nationwide the opportunity to showcase their products and services for Meijer merchants to consider having on stores shelves.

Led by the Meijer Supplier Inclusion team, in partnership with mVets, the Meijer Team Member Resource Group (TMRG) for veterans, active military members, and their families, the retailer invites veteran-owned businesses to participate in the Meijer virtual "Roadmap to Retail" series Nov. 7-8. Specifically, the merchandising event will take place on Nov. 7 and the professional services event will be held on Nov. 8.

Todd Weer, Senior Vice President of Stores and Executive Sponsor of mVets at Meijer said: "Supporting veteran-owned businesses isn't just about honoring their service; it's about harnessing the incredible potential they bring to the business world. Veterans are equipped with a unique set of skills, including adaptability, teamwork, and unwavering determination. By supporting these businesses, we not only salute their sacrifice but also unlock innovation and opportunity that can benefit us all."

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The event is intended for any business that is not a current Meijer vendor but would like to learn more about the path to becoming one. The retailer aims to build relationships with veteran-owned suppliers to expand its veteran-owned product offerings in categories storewide.

Meijer began focusing on supplier diversity in 2020 as part of its DEI journey and has seen tremendous growth since then according to Carla Hendon, Director of Supplier Inclusion at Meijer: "The Meijer supplier inclusion program has grown tremendously this year and it's been incredibly rewarding to see these small, yet mighty, vendors thrive and expand their products across our six-state footprint."

Meijer currently features a wide array of veteran-owned products in its supercenters, grocery format, and hyper-local market format stores around the six states it serves. The retailer's strong commitment to veterans is demonstrated by support for team members and ongoing partnerships with veterans' groups and veteran-affiliated charitable organizations across its Midwest footprint.

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Adam Hollier, former Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) said: "Veterans leave the service with unique skills and abilities that can't be replicated anywhere else that make them natural leaders in the small business space...This opportunity for veteran-owned small businesses is an innovative way that Meijer continues to support veterans and I hope our veteran small business owners will take advantage of this opportunity to get their products in front of one of the largest retailers in the Midwest."

In 2020, Meijer launched mVets as its TMRG for veterans which offers educational opportunities as well as community volunteer service opportunities and community shared experiences as well. In 2022 recently achieved Gold-level status as a Veteran-Friendly Employer (VFE) from MVAA as first retailer ever earn MVAA's Gold level honor.

Meijers's virtual "Roadmap To Retail" event provides an innovative way for veterans owned businesses nationwide an opportunity showcase their products services while honoring their service sacrifice unlocking innovation opportunity benefit all involved parties alike
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