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    Walmart Creates Minority Supplier Program

    New initiative to be based in ‘critically important’ Chicago market

    Describing Chicago as a “critically important” market, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. aims to use the Windy City as the launch pad for its new minority supplier program.

    Thomas Mars, executive VP and chief administrative officer of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant, announced the program at a Metropolitan Planning Council lunch this week in Chicago, Crain’s reported. The program will focus on professional services, food and general merchandise.

    Pursuing urban markets across the country as a key growth strategy, Walmart has confirmed eight Chicago stores in addition to the one existing supercenter in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. The company has confirmed plans to open several dozen stores across the city within the next five years.

    A formal minority partnership program currently exists in the company’s legal department, and an informal joint venture program exists for general contractors who build new Walmart stores, Crain’s reported.
     

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