For its fifth annual Open Call, Walmart invited more than 450 businesses from 46 states to meet one-on-one with buyers for a chance to get their products on store shelves. The event was held yesterday, June 13, in Bentonville, AR.
In 2013, Walmart made a commitment to purchase an additional $250 billion by 2023 in products made, sourced or grown in the U.S. Open Call underscored this commitment and is one way in which the company continues to invest in American jobs by supporting U.S. manufacturing. This year’s attendees included companies manufacturing a wide variety of products and featured diverse entrepreneurs. More than half of all businesses attending Open Call self-identify as diverse, including nearly 25% identifying as women-owned, the company said.
With some companies pitching multiple products, more than 750 meetings were scheduled with Walmart buyers. From toys and apparel to health and beauty aids and food, this year’s variety of new products represented a broad range of categories. Attendees included entrepreneurs who want to get their products in Walmart stores for the first time, as well as existing suppliers trying to expand their assortment into other areas of the store.
Of the 46 states represented this year, the states with the most companies include California (57), Florida (44), Michigan (40), New York (30), New Jersey (27), Texas (25) and Illinois (25).
“We are so excited about this year’s event and the opportunity to meet the entrepreneurs that look to Open Call as a chance to get the big break they have been looking for. We are proud of the supplier success stories from prior years and look forward to helping more entrepreneurs realize the American dream,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vp/merchandising services and U.S. manufacturing.