As part of its racial equity efforts, Target Corp. is pledging to sell products from more than 500 Black-owned brands by the end of 2025.

That goal is part of a new $2 billion commitment made Thursday by the Minneapolis-based retailer. The company did not provide specifics on how much it currently spends with these companies, but said the commitment represents a significant increase.

Target currently carries more than 65 Black-owned brands, including several in its beauty department.

In addition to diversifying its suppliers, Target said it will step up partnerships with other Black-owned companies in areas such as marketing, construction and facilities management.

It also will launch a new program called Forward Founders to help Black entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses for mass retail.

"We have a rich history of working with diverse businesses, but there's more we can do to spark change across the retail industry, support the Black community and ensure Black guests feel welcomed and represented when they shop at Target," said Christina Hennington, Target's chief growth officer, in a statement.

"The bold actions we're announcing today reflect Target's ongoing commitment to advance racial equity for the Black community."

Target has been working to diversify its suppliers and product mix for years through efforts such as hosting vendor fairs for Black-owned businesses.

Between 2016 and 2018, it increased its business with diverse suppliers by 64%.

Those efforts received a heightened focus last year in the wake of the death of George Floyd, which spurred companies across not only the Twin Cities, but across the U.S., to step up racial equity initiatives.

Last year, Target established a racial equity committee made up of senior leaders to guide its efforts. It also committed $10 million to nonprofits focused on social justice and community rebuilding while vowing to increase its number of Black employees by 20% over the next three years.

Target shares closed Wednesday at $204.45, down less than 1%.

Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113

Twitter: @kavitakumar