How Your Small Business Can Profit From Walmart’s ‘Open Call’ For New Products

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This summer, Walmart will give African American manufacturers, among others, an unprecedented opportunity to become suppliers by pitching their products to the world’s largest retailer.

The  company’s  Made in USA “Open Call” event on July 8 at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters marks the first time Walmart has completely opened its doors to allow new suppliers to promote American-made products. Firms must apply by June 6 and will be notified by June 17.  Visit http://madeinusaopencall.com to register.

The all-day event is linked to its announcement in January 2013 to buy an additional $250 billion in U.S. products over the next 10 years. The retailer plans to achieve that by growing business with existing suppliers, attracting new vendors and shifting overseas items to U.S. production.

A major focus of Open Call is attracting new suppliers, according to Walmart spokesperson Katie Cody. She says the retailer’s intent is to further diversify its supplier pool. (Over the past few years, Walmart has partnered with BLACK ENTERPRISE to bring more minority businesses into the fold through the ongoing series of 20/20 Vision supplier diversity forums.)

“This is a perfect event for suppliers that we’re not yet working with,” Cody says, urging companies that believe their products will connect with the Walmart customer to attend and present their goods to buyers.

Walmart is in the process of evaluating more than 1,300 product categories. That means companies that manufacture goods in the US can pitch Walmart original products as well as new categories.

So what products does the retailer expect to buy? Walmart and its Sam’s Club subsidiary will review a range of categories including sporting goods, apparel, games, paper products, furniture and electronics.

For more details on the upcoming event,  visit http://news.walmart.com/events/made-in-usa-open-call-summit.

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