Walmart Inc. has picked the finalists for its eighth annual Open Call event, with more than 1,000 small- and medium-size businesses receiving their official invitations to pitch their shelf-ready products to Walmart merchants. This year marks the largest number of business owners ever to take part in the one-day event.
Walmart’ Open Call invited aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their products made, grown or assembled in the United States. More than 4,300 businesses applied, and more than 12,500 merchant meetings were requested, marking one of the largest number of Open Call applications received in the event’s eight-year history.
“We’re thrilled with the growth we’ve seen in our Open Call event, as we’ve seen time and again its power to support new and existing jobs and help small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Laura Phillips, Walmart SVP for global sourcing and U.S. manufacturing. “We know that U.S. manufacturing matters a lot to our shoppers. Programs like Open Call serve to bolster communities, provide more value to our customers and improve the way we do business.”
Walmart will hold the Open Call event for the finalists in a virtual format for the second year in a row on June 30. Suppliers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will each have 30-minute one-on-one meetings with Walmart merchants to pitch their products. Participants could secure deals ranging from a few local stores to supplying hundreds of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations as well as Walmart.com and Walmart Marketplace.
In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart and Sam’s Club merchants, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives at the hour-long kickoff of the event. Smaller breakout sessions will be available where suppliers can learn more on valuable topics and about resources available to them.
The Open Call event is part of Walmart's recent commitment to spend an additional $350 billion on items made, grown or assembled in the United States.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam’s Club ranks No. 9 on the list.