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CVS Pharmacy to hold 2nd annual supplier diversity summit

The retail division of CVS Health will seek diverse businesses and evaluate opportunities in line with its ongoing work to meet the needs of customers.

CVS Pharmacy will hold its second annual Supplier Diversity & Minority Owned Summit.

Taking place from April 5 to 8, the event will be run in partnership with ECRM and RangeMe, and focus on the company's ongoing efforts to bring a broader assortment of products from diverse suppliers and brands to customers. 

Currently, CVS Pharmacy carries more than 100 diverse-owned brands across front store categories and is committed to increasing that selection with enhanced merchandising protocols for diverse suppliers.

[Read more: ECRM launches RangeMe across the pond]

Within the beauty and personal care space, the retailer has recently added several new Black-owned brands and nearly 200 items from new and existing Black-owned brands, with many more launching across the category in 2022, the company said. 

"We're at our best when our priorities and actions reflect the needs of the communities we serve," Andrea Harrison, vice president of merchandising of beauty and personal care at CVS Health said. "We'll continue to feature the brands and trends that speak to the diversity of our customers while simultaneously offering the value, innovation and trust they expect from the products across our aisles."

The 2022 summit will focus on products across beauty, grocery, personal care, health, wellness, household and general merchandise. 

[Read more: UNFI, RangeMe expand partnership

To further support CVS Pharmacy's commitment to increasing its selection of diverse-owned brands, new tools and processes have been created to ensure increased diverse spend and a more inclusive supplier and product landscape, including:

  • CVS Merchandising, in partnership with the CVS Health Enterprise Procurement Supplier Diversity team, hosted a Supplier Diversity in Merchandising program annually for the past four years to identify new diverse suppliers and assist in eliminating barriers to starting in retail; 
  • CVS Health's Supplier Diversity program hosts an annual Executive Learning Series, which provides training in a wide variety of skills around pitching and landing expanded retail distribution of products, including the opportunity to engage in individualized executive coaching;
  • CVS Pharmacy merchandisers attend supplier diversity advocacy conferences, such as National Minority Supplier Development Council and Women's Business Enterprise National Council, to meet with diverse suppliers; and
  • CVS Pharmacy works to reinforce the diversity of both product assortment and suppliers throughout its planogram process to deliver relevant offerings to the communities it serves.

Additionally, with the goal of achieving mutual success, CVS Pharmacy offers unique opportunities to smaller diverse suppliers entering mass retail, including:

  • Providing resources, training and mentoring for new and/or growing diverse suppliers as they gain a foothold in the retail environment; and
  • Developing refreshed intake forms to ensure specific supplier needs are appropriately flagged and accommodated.

At this Supplier Diversity & Minority Owned Summit, all sourcing and product submissions will be made through RangeMe, and ECRM will curate meeting schedules, as well as schedule face-to-face virtual meetings with the merchants so suppliers can present new and innovative products and solutions for customers.

[Read More: CVS Pharmacy enhances ExtraCare BeautyClub loyalty program]

All meetings will be conducted on ECRM's virtual meeting platform from April 5 to 8. Vendors can learn more and apply to join the virtual event online through Feb. 14, 2022.

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