Building and nurturing a strong commitment to the communities where we live and work has always been important to Limited Brands. In 2003, we launched our supplier diversity initiative that is guided by our values “inclusion makes us stronger” and “it matters how we play the game.”
Partnering with diverse businesses is important to our success and to our role as a leader in the retail industry. The supplier diversity initiative enables L Brands to have access to the best vendors in each sourcing category. Thus, we seek relationships with suppliers that mirror our values by ensuring diversity in their supply base. The mutually beneficial business will broaden the economic vitality and prosperity of the communities we serve, create value for our shareholders and provide fresh perspective and innovative solutions to our business.
Suppliers interested in partnering with us through the supplier diversity program must be certified by any of the following third-parties:
- Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) - Supplier must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by an ethnic minority (African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American). Certification is available through the National Minority Supplier Development Council or other state and/or local entities.
- Women Business Enterprise (WBE) - Supplier must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a woman (regardless of ethnicity). Certification is available through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council or other state and/or local entities.
- Small Business Enterprise (SBE) - Supplier must be considered a small business according to federal Small Business Administration guidelines or guidelines established by the incorporating state. Certification is available through the Small Business Administration or other state and/or local entities.
- Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) - Supplier must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by an individual who is a U.S. veteran. Certification is available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or another third party organization.
- Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Enterprise (LGBTE) - Supplier must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by an individual who is a member of the LGBT community. Certification is available through the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to building direct relationships between L Brands and diverse business enterprises, we ask our primary suppliers to mirror our practices and work to increase and report their use of diverse suppliers.
While supplier diversity seeks to ensure a level playing field in our procurement practices, the decision to award business to a diverse supplier is based on a supplier’s ability to provide the product or service that best meets our business requirements.