Walmart seeks entrepreneurs


Staff report



BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is looking for entrepreneurs to pitch their made-in-the-USA products to the company’s buyers in a daylong event at Walmart’s global headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, June 28.

Registration has begun.

“We are opening our doors and making our buyers available to meet with suppliers with one goal in mind: buy more American products,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president of U.S. sourcing and manufacturing. “From food to toys to apparel, and companies large and small from coast to coast, we want to make a deal with you for your U.S.-made products.”

At the 2015 Open Call, KettlePizza of Groveland, Massachusetts, a 12-person company, signed a deal for its pizza oven conversion kit to be on the shelves of 500 Walmart stores, while Myndology Inc., of Appleton, Wisconsin, a three-person company, landed a deal for its ring-bound flashcards to be sold in more than 3,000 Walmart stores. Deals are possible for just a few to thousands of Walmart stores, including Walmart.com and Sam’s Club locations across the country.

“Landing a deal with Walmart was huge for us,” said KettlePizza Cofounder George Peters. “Our deal at Open Call gave our small company the chance at a national audience, which is what we needed to take our company to the next level. There is no faster path to a national retail presence than Walmart. Our deal was a game changer.”

“Filling out the application was exciting in itself and a chance that I couldn’t pass on. It’s not every day that you get the chance to sit down in front of a Walmart buyer and pitch the products you have put your life into, then land a deal for over 3,000 Walmart stores,” said Nick Miller, president and owner of Myndology Inc. “Since our deal for flash cards, we’ve sold two more products to Walmart. I recommend to anyone manufacturing in the U.S. to submit to Open Call if they want to bring their items to retail.”

Open Call is about more than entrepreneurs pitching products to Walmart. The U.S. Manufacturing Summit and Open Call bring together industry experts, government officials, suppliers and innovators. Attendees will explore the infrastructure and economic development opportunities available to new and expanding manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.

In January 2013, Walmart committed to American renewal by announcing it intends to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products that support American jobs over 10 years. Walmart will meet its commitment in a variety of ways, including buying more from existing domestic suppliers, doing business with new domestic suppliers and helping current suppliers reshore their overseas production.

The deadline for entrepreneurs to register for Open Call is May 27. For details about Walmart’s 2016 U.S. Manufacturing Summit and Open Call, visit walmart-jump.com.

Staff report