Kroger’s $2b Supplier Diversity Focuses On Private Brand

Kroger DiversityCincinnati based grocer Kroger and Corporate Brands Diverse Supplier Business Interchange was held December 12th in Erlanger, Ohio. The event included more than 40 current and existing vendors who each had a chance to meet with purchasing and manufacturing executives from the retailer.

According to a story from Channel 9 WCPO in Cincinnati “Often times it’s about knowing people, having relationships,” said Denise Thomas, director of corporate supplier diversity at Kroger

One of the newest areas of strategic emphasis is expanding its network of Private Brand suppliers. So, Thomas said Kroger used its most recent Business Interchange event to connect vendors with Private Brand buyers. The event was modeled on the Toyota Opportunity Exchange, which drew 300 people to the Duke Energy Convention Center in November and is credited with producing more than $100 million in new contracts for minority vendors. Thomas likes the event because it allows vendors to develop relationships with buyers.



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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.