BUSINESS

Foot Locker Has Invested Almost $54 Million to Support the Black Community.

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Foot Locker Inc. is yet again reviewing its pledges to help members of the Black community.
The retailer of footwear on Monday said it would invest close to $54 million into educational programmes for economic and social development members of the Black Community through the fiscal year 2021. This achievement was revealed in the second annual progress report that Foot Locker is stacking up to its commitments made two years ago.

Then, in June 2020, Foot Locker Inc. stated that it would commit $200 million for the next five years to assist the Black community through the company’s Leading Education & Economic Development (LEED) Initiative. The company has committed to supporting Black-owned companies, expanding the diversification of its global suppliers and agency partners, and expanding marketing spending in collaboration with Black business owners, innovators, and collaborators. Foot Locker also said it would give money to groups that provide economic growth and advancement opportunities for minorities.

In the period from June 20, 2022, Foot Locker said it had invested more than $17 million in brands owned by Blacks like Pro Standard, Don C, Abeille Creations, Grady Baby Company & Apparel and Clan de Banlieue and as pledged $11 million in seven Black-led Venture Capital companies. The company has also invested more than $10.8 million in partnership agreements with Black-owned businesses for construction, marketing, and other business areas.

“Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business,” stated Foot Locker chairman and CEO Dick Johnson. “Through strategic investments, community partnerships, and opportunities that empower, we are taking actionable steps to drive meaningful and lasting change both within our organization and in the communities we serve.”

Foot Locker also noted that it has educated 160 individuals in an intensive design for people from underrepresented groups through an alliance in partnership with Pensole and New Balance and donated money to various groups to help communities that are not well-invested.
In the internal environment, Foot Locker added ten scholarships to Black employees, widened an internship program to provide an avenue to corporate employment and introduced an initiative to teach financial literacy.

Foot Locker provided a similar update last year, too, announcing the $5 million investment made in the Black-led VC company MaC Venture Capital, partnerships with 34 new Black brand names and creators for collaborations by 2021, and a commitment of $750,000 for The pensile Footwear Design Academy to assist in the training of the future generations of footwear designers, as in addition to other accomplishments.

Foot Locker chairman and CEO Dick Johnson have been vocal in his determination to create more significant equity and diversity within the footwear industry over the past few years. In an open note in June 2020, Johnson acknowledged the company’s debt to its Black community. “We recognize that Black culture plays a pivotal role in shaping sneaker culture — the foundation of our business at Foot Locker Inc.,” the letter reads.

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