The world’s largest retailer is set to substantially increase its purchases from woman-owned suppliers, from $2.5 billion today to $5 billion by the end of 2016. “Over the next five years, we anticipate increasing our sourcing from WBEs by about 15 to 20 percent annually,” stated Theresa Barrera, Walmart’s vice president of U.S. supplier diversity. Even though Walmart Stores operates 9,700 retail sites in 28 countries, such an escalation in WBE spending will require the company to create some new tactics, as well as intensify its current approaches. The push is part of a larger initiative to help empower women across Walmart’s supply chain around the world. The Bentonville, Ark-based company collaborated with leaders from government, nongovernment organizations, philanthropic groups and academia to establish and launch goals as part of its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative.