Kohl’s Expands Supplier Diversity Initiative with Pledge to Triple Spending With Diverse Suppliers by 2025


Retailer will also invest more than $20 million to support diverse communities over the next three years, including $250,000 donation to National Minority Supplier Development Council

At Kohl’s, we’re committed to our Diversity & Inclusion strategy, focusing on our people, our customers and our community. We strive to drive economic empowerment through conversations, programs and partnerships that improve quality of life in underserved communities. Through our Supplier Diversity program, Kohl’s is continuing this work to support such communities, and enhance equity and economic prosperity for all. 

As a key part of these efforts, Kohl’s has continued to embed supplier diversity best practices across the supply chain to support our pledge to triple our spending among diverse suppliers by 2025. We continue to leverage our Supplier Diversity Council, made up of leaders from across the business, and the resources and networks of six external national business groups to connect and build relationships with certified diverse suppliers. This group works to implement best practices across our supply chain processes, and activate reporting tools and technology to assess and track progress in supplier diversity growth.

To further build upon this initiative, Kohl’s will invest more than $20 million in diverse communities by 2025, including a $250,000 donation to the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). The NMSDC and affiliate councils are committed to advancing certified minority-owned businesses by offering education and development programs, networking opportunities and increased visibility and connections to help them grow. Kohl’s donation will be two-fold: $50,000 to the National council for technology improvements due to the increasing demands of the growing corporate network and $200,000 dedicated to the North Central region (NCMSDC) to support Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) through the certification process and increase MBE contract preparedness through customized mentoring programs. Together, Kohl’s and NCMSDC will work to eliminate barriers and create more opportunities for MBEs to develop and grow their businesses. 

As the Supplier Diversity program continues to evolve and grow, Kohl’s is focused on the following key areas:

In 2021, we saw growth in both diverse supplier count and spend. Kohl’s increased its spend with diverse suppliers over 65% last year and expanded external partnerships to further its involvement in the communities by joining various retail industry groups, participating in expert panel discussions, serving on subcommittees, and financially sponsoring several supplier outreach and matchmaking events. 

Led by our sourcing managers and in partnership with the Supplier Diversity Council and Business Resource Groups, Kohl’s established a formalized mentor program to help diverse suppliers thrive. Through the Kohl’s Supplier Diversity Mentor program, mentees have the opportunity to meet with key decision-makers and industry experts to assist with overall business development. Kohl’s will support mentees to reach their goals in all facets of business development which will further prepare them when working with Kohl’s and other Fortune 500 companies. 

We work to build a best-in-class program by promoting diverse certification status through our partnerships with the diverse external organizations. Additionally, we provide diverse suppliers with procedural and financial certification support. 

Tier 2 : Expanding our Impact
In  2021 we implemented the first phase of our Tier 2 program. In our Tier 2 program, we invite our primary suppliers to report their spend with diverse suppliers who directly support Kohl’s goods and services. We highly encourage our business partners to implement policies and procedures to drive growth in their supplier diversity program. Our Tier 2 program will expand in 2022 and beyond.

To learn more about the Supplier Diversity program and how Kohl’s is making progress across environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, workplace, supply chain, and business continuity, view our 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report.