Entrepreneurs needed: Walmart announces open call for new products

Walmart announced Friday its seventh annual Open Call is live and thus, has invited entrepreneurs seeking to get their products on shelves to apply.

Applicants will have the opportunity to meet with Walmart buyers on Oct. 1 during virtual pitch meetings. In addition to one-on-one pitches, participants will also hear directly from Walmart executives and company leaders.

The deadline to apply is August 10.

“During this year of unprecedented challenges for U.S. businesses, Walmart remains committed to sourcing products made, grown, or assembled in the U.S. By Investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new exciting products to our customers, support new jobs in our local communities and invest in small business across the country.” Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for global sourcing and U.S. manufacturing, said. “Walmart’s Annual Open Call event gives us a unique occasion to identify new suppliers who can meet our customers’ needs with unique and innovative products manufactured or produced in the U.S. For the first time, this year’s Open Call event will be virtual, enabling even broader participation from potential new suppliers. We know how important this opportunity is for many small businesses, especially this year, and we are looking forward to seeing the new product submissions and meeting potential new suppliers.”

Attendees have the chance to secure deals ranging from a couple of local stores to thousands of stores as well as with Sam’s Club and on Walmart.com.

“We were walking into an entirely new and welcoming world,” Gwen Hurt, owner of Shoe Crazy Wine, said.

Hurt applied to Walmart’s 2018 Open Call and a buyer decided to test her product in 66 stores. Now, she’s in 118 stores across Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

“Everyone was so professional and kind throughout the process. We’ve been thrilled to work with Walmart and are excited about the continual growth of our product. Thanks to this relationship, we’ve been able to expand our operations to 15 employees while reinvesting in our community through the purchase of a once abandoned warehouse and additional resources. It’s a dream come true for our family,” she said.