Walmart looks for new products

COLUMBUS — Walmart is accepting applications for its sixth annual Open Call for new products, scheduled for June 18 and 19 at the company’s home office campus in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Apply today by visiting for the opportunity to secure a face-to-face pitch meeting with a Walmart buyer. The application deadline is April 30.

“RedHead Wine and L’uva Bella Winery’s partnership with Walmart is a home-run and life-changing,” said Marisa Sergi, CEO/winemaker of RedHead Wine in Lowellville and a 2017 Open Call participant. “Having the courage to apply to Open Call has allowed us to not only hire more people but pay it forward by getting more involved in the community.”

This year’s Open Call attendees could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets, to supplying hundreds, even thousands of stores, Sam’s Clubs and The two-day event informs, empowers and encourages attendees while providing effective networking opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

“Our customers tell us that products made, sourced or grown in the U.S. are important to them, and we work year-round to identify local suppliers and source products that our customers are proud to buy,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart’s vice president of merchandise services and U.S. manufacturing. “Walmart’s annual Open Call gives us a unique opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from across the country and discover new, nice and innovative products that fill a need for our customers and support jobs right here in America.”

During the 2018 Walmart Open Call, nearly 600 meetings took place with product pitches including toys, apparel, natural health and beauty aids and food. Prospective suppliers traveled from 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. More than half of the attending businesses self-identified as diverse, including nearly 25 percent identifying as women-owned.

Following last year’s event, a new line-up of products has begun arriving on Walmart shelves and, representing the dreams of dozens of entrepreneurs across the country, including: Ahssa Foods LLC, Mesa, Arizona: low-fat gourmet sauces; Bodylove Naturals, Rogers, Arkansas: natural skincare products; The Cumberland Companies, Knoxville, Tennessee: fog-free shaving mirror; Mame’s Burrito Co., Denver, Colorado: organic breakfast burritos; The Perfect Granola, Rochester, New York: naturally sweetened granola bars; RPM, Savage, Minnesota: placemats for pet food bowls; Shoe Crazy, Chesterfield, Virginia: unique wine blends; and Wings Cosmetics LLC, Andrews, Texas: winged eyeliner stamp.

In January 2013, Walmart announced its commitment to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs by 2023. Walmart’s Open Call is one way in which the company continues to invest in this commitment. Last year, Walmart spent $17 billion with Ohio suppliers, supporting 138,631 local jobs.