Technology retailer Best Buy announced today new initiatives aimed at supporting minority-owned businesses and communities and increasing diverse representation throughout the tech industry, including a commitment to spend at least $1.2 billion with BIPOC and diverse businesses by 2025.
The new commitments follow the pledge made in June last year by Best Buy CEO Corrie Barry to “do better” to address racial inequities and social injustices, and programs announced late last year to increase diversity within the company, support disinvested communities, and provide funding for BIPOC students.
Best Buy’s new initiative include a series of commitments that encompass its marketing efforts, and the company’s retail capabilities, including supply chain, sourcing and product development. Specific marketing pledges include dedicating nearly 10% of Best Buy’s annual media spend to BIPOC media by 2025, ensuring that a minimum of 30% of its paid advertising will feature BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and diverse abilities cast members and family structures, and that that 25% of production crew members will be women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and of diverse abilities by 2023. The company will also host a media summit for BIPOC and diverse businesses in partnership with Starcom, part of Publicis Media, by the spring of 2022.
On the retail front, Best Buy will advice and product feedback – similar to that shared with its largest strategic partners – to emerging BIPOC companies, help BIPOC businesses deal with sourcing questions, alternate supplies for key components and, in some cases, make connections with suppliers, and utilize its distribution network to help fulfill products or house inventory for BIPOC businesses, if needed.
Additional commitments announced by Best Buy include investing both financially and its expertise into partner organizations, such as venture capital firms, that share the vision of accelerating BIPOC representation in the technology industry, and creating and building partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities and various community organizations in order to help to increase the number of diverse businesses and suppliers.
Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said:
“We better serve our customers, employees and communities when there are more diverse voices at the table, businesses we work with and stories being told. We’re committed to taking the necessary actions to support, grow and reduce the barriers faced by BIPOC entrepreneurs and businesses. There is more work to do to make the kind of systemic permanent changes necessary to achieve racial and social equity in our company and our communities and we are just getting started.”