Retail Promotes Diversity and Economic Empowerment

Retail Promotes Diversity and Economic Empowerment

Retail Promotes Diversity and Economic Empowerment 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

Building brand values is an incredible task with significant implications on corporate culture and, increasingly, consumers who align their values with their wallet. We’ve seen everything from political stances, support for humankind, and sustainability all become corporate positions, all with having a trickle-down effect on consumers. Brands continue to vocalize their positions with both praise and criticism, but it’s become a necessary need when connecting with today’s consumers. Take a stand. Share your values. Support your consumer.

Brands are taking powerful action, enacting programs to further minority and black-owned businesses, giving position and voice to an otherwise dominated market. Here are a few brands and retailers committed to diversity and promoting economic empowerment.


Looking to effect change within their organization, and ultimately the communities they serve, ThirdLove developed a new incubator initiative, the TL Effect, to support women of color-led businesses through monetary grants and mentorship. Recipients will also be able to build brand awareness utilizing ThirdLove’s booming social media presence, office space at their San Francisco HQ, and fundraising support. After receiving over 650 applications, Arah Sims, of Kyutee, was chosen as the first TL Effect recipient. Kyutee, whose mission is to change the way shoppers think about manicures, bringing one-of-a-kind customizable nail art to the market, will now be able to utilize this new program to scale the business and build consumer connections.

Giant Foods

In the past decade, we’ve seen grocers more involved with their consumers and immersed in their communities. Emphasis on local and regional offerings, grocers have provided their shoppers direct access to growers and makers in their recognizable geography. Now we’re seeing an added presence on the shelf supporting diversity. A prime example appears within Giant Foods’ aisles, positioning to promote supplier diversification by adding shelf labels to recognize minority-owned suppliers. The call-out builds collective diversity awareness and provides customers information to quickly identify products that align with their values—aiding in the selection process.

Rainbow Capitol Partners & Chicago TREND

Real estate and minority empowerment go hand-in-hand. Looking to drive social change, Rainbow Capital Partners looks to expand representation within retail real estate. Working with landlords and a syndication investment model to fund small businesses, they focus on LGBTQ, women, and minority ownership and make commercial real estate projects a reality. Chicago TREND empowers LGBTQ and Black communities through shopping center ownership and development. In partnership with Black investors in communities across the US, Chicago TREND will acquire small shopping centers.

“If we want to truly address racial wealth-gap issues, we need to be helping more people of color owned commercial property, specifically shopping centers.” – Lyneir Richardson, CEO, Chicago TREND


In the world of online reviews, it’s a race to get the best star rating. But what about those looking for the perfect date night while also supporting minority businesses? Yelp is doing just that and making it easier for companies to identify as black-owned and found in search. With a surge of interest in black-owned business this past summer, adding the new tool is a step of many by Yelp, also saying it will donate $500,000 to the Equal Justice Imitative and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

We expect to see personal values make an even more significant impact on where consumers shop and dine. According to a 2020 Consumer Culture report, 71% of consumers prefer buying from companies aligned with their values. Brands that are inclusive and empowering will be the ones to win these consumers of tomorrow.

Our designers and strategists identified consumer trends we believe retailers can anticipate in the year to come. Curious what to expect? Click here to find out.

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