Walmart ‘Open Call’ will bring new products to store shelves

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Walmart ‘Open Call’ will bring new products to store shelves

By Dan Berthiaume - 06/20/2019
Walmart’s sixth annual Open Call event has concluded, and more than 100 participants are moving on to the next step.

More than 500 invited U.S. entrepreneurs and small businesses met face-to-face with buyers at Walmart’s Bentonville, Ark. headquarters during the June 18-19 Open Call event. Several dozen participants got deals on the spot to put their products in Walmart stores, while others will continue discussions with the retailer. For the fourth year in a row, Walmart offered all suppliers with shelf-stable items the opportunity to sell them on Walmart.com.

All participants received feedback on their products from buyers. In addition to pitch meetings, the two-day event provided informative sessions including a supplier mentoring session, a discussion on how suppliers can grow their businesses, and a presentation on how to get products ready for retail. Wednesday morning featured award-winning entrepreneur and BroughtonHotels CEO Larry Broughton sharing strategies on how entrepreneurs can take their business to the next level. Attendees received autographed copies of his latest book.

“If we can create great local jobs, we’re going to have better stores and better, stronger communities,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. “We love to buy things that are close to our distribution centers and our stores because it creates those jobs, while also helping us be more efficient. So, this is strategic and something we should be doing as a business. But we also bring an emotional component to this because we care about people. We want everybody who has anything to do with Walmart – whether they’re a customer or an associate or a supplier of ours – to benefit.”

The companies in attendance represented 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. They are manufacturing their products in 44 different states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.