Hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses lined the halls at Walmart’s home office to pitch their U.S.-manufactured products to Walmart buyers. During the sixth annual Open Call event, more than 100 companies moved on to the next step, with several dozen getting deals on the spot to go on Walmart store shelves, the company said.
For the fourth year in a row, Walmart offered all suppliers with shelf-stable items the opportunity to sell on Walmart.com.
In addition to pitch meetings, the two-day event provided informative sessions for supplier-hopefuls. These included a supplier mentoring session, a discussion on how suppliers can grow their businesses and a presentation on how to get products ready for retail. One session featured award-winning entrepreneur and CEO Larry Broughton sharing strategies on how entrepreneurs can take their business to the next level.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon also addressed the entrepreneurs. He shared why buying local products makes economic sense and is good for the communities Walmart serves: “If we can create great local jobs, we’re going to have better stores and better, stronger communities,” said 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.”
The companies in attendance represented a broad geography, including 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Collectively, their impact on the U.S. manufacturing sector can be felt across the country, as they are manufacturing their products in 44 different states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.