Target in new media initiative to help Black businesses

Marianne Wilson
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Target will award more than $25 million in media to diverse-owned and founded brands through its in-house media company by 2025.

Target Corp. is extending its efforts to use its scale and resources to create economic opportunity for Black-owned businesses at the company and beyond.

In April 2021, Target committed to spending $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025. The company pledged to grow the number of Black-owned brands that it sells and also to spend more with Black-owned suppliers and build new resources for Black entrepreneurs.

The company on Tuesday said it is on track to meeting its goals, and is also launching a new media fund initiative through its in-house media company, Roundel.  Designed to offset the cost of marketing programs at Target, the new Roundel Fund will award more than $25 million in media to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) brands by 2025. The fund will allow businesses to tap into paid media through Roundel at a fraction of the cost while receiving the same benefits and reach as a typical marketing program, according to Target.

“The impact that the Roundel Media Fund’s $25 million investment can create is powerful,” said Sarah Travis, president of Roundel, Target.  “For example, we tested this opportunity during Black History Month and saw a 40% average sales lift for the more than 20 diverse-owned brands that participated. Ultimately, we strive to be a true partner to BIPOC businesses, and this involves a continued investment to help widen and deepen their capabilities so they can grow and prosper while continuing to connect with the audiences they serve.”

Additionally, since pledging to spend 5% of its annual media budget with Black-owned media by the end of 2022, the company has since invested four times more with Black-owned media partners and doubled the amount of partners they are working with since 2020, including notable multiyear deals with Revolt, Esssence and Black Love.

In an update on its 2021 commitment, Target said it now offers more than 100 Black-owned brands— from beauty products, home goods, books and toys to apparel, accessories and food and beverage items.  

The company’s beauty assortment saw a 65% increase in Black-owned brand offerings since 2020, and more than 200 books from Black authors were added during the last year. Target said its food and beverage assortment will include 50 Black-owned brands by the end of 2022.

Target has also expanded collaborations with Black designers within its owned brand work and engaged Black creators to launch an exclusive home collaboration with Justina Blakeney.

In addition to adding more Black-owned brands, Target pledged to engage more Black-owned companies to enhance its retail operations and shopping experience. In 2021, the retailer increased investments with Black-owned brands, companies and suppliers — including marketing agencies, construction companies, facilities maintenance and more, by more than 50% compared to 2020. Notable examples include multi-million-dollar contracts with global technology service provider World Wide Technology and Taylor Brothers Construction, a vendor supporting the company’s 2022 remodel program.

Target also launched a new partnership with Bridgeforth Farms earlier this year to bring their sustainably grown cotton into the making of select products.

“At Target, our commitment to supporting Black-owned companies and advocating for racial equity touches every aspect of our business — including investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs, launching Black-owned brands at Target, working with Black designers and suppliers and increasing visibility through our marketing,” said Christina Hennington, Target executive VP and chief growth officer, and founding REACH (Racial Equity Action and Change) committee member. “While there’s more to be done, our team has approached this critically important work with passion and conviction, and we are on track to meet the goals we established to advance racial equity through the full impact of our company. We will continue to ensure Black-owned businesses have a seat at the table so that all guests feel welcomed and represented when they shop at Target — and we’ll bring transparency to the progress we’re making to create lasting change for retail and beyond.”