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Wal-Mart touts supplier diversity initiatives


BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores reported that it expanded its business with minority- and women-owned companies by more than 25% in 2008, according to recently verified figures. The company announced also that it increased its combined direct and second tier spend to more than $8.1 billion with minority- and women-owned businesses.

In 2008, Wal-Mart's direct spend with minority- and women-owned businesses was more than $6 billion, with second-tier spending totaling more than $2 billion. Second-tier spend is an accounting of suppliers that subcontract with prime suppliers on Wal-Mart business. Wal-Mart's spend numbers are verified by CVM Solutions, a third-party enterprise supplier management company. Wal-Mart's direct spend with diverse suppliers was more than $4.8 billion in 2007, totaling more than $6 billion when accounting for second-tier spend. The nearly $2 billion overall increase in the 2008 total is a reflection of the company's commitment to diversity, its customers and local communities.

"At Wal-Mart, we know we can make a difference in the communities we serve and our commitment extends to minority- and women-owned businesses at the local level," said Theresa Barrera, VP supplier diversity at Wal-Mart Stores. "We are proud of the fact that, in these difficult financial times, we are able to deepen our commitment to these important partners -- giving them the potential to grow, while enabling Wal-Mart to deliver and sell the goods and services our customers want."

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