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Walmart looks to invest in U.S. manufacturers

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Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:44 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Walmart is looking for Entrepreneurs for its 7th annual open call for U.S. manufactured products.

Walmart says the application process for its seventh annual Open Call is live and the company invites entrepreneurs dreaming of landing their U.S. manufactured products on Walmart shelves to apply for the opportunity to meet with Walmart buyers on October 1, 2020, via virtual pitch meetings.

The international grocery store says the deadline to apply to participate in 2020′s Open Call for U.S. manufactured products is August 10 and additional information about the event is available on Walmart’s website.

Walmart says the event is scheduled for October 1 and kicks off its celebration of U.S. Manufacturing Month which includes similar programming to previous years. The store says it will hold one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, and participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during smaller breakout sessions that have been designed to inform, empower and encourage supplier hopefuls.

“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 can bring new exciting products to our customers, support new jobs in our local communities and invest in small business across the country,” said Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for Global Sourcing & US Manufacturing. “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.”

Walmart says 2020′s Open Call attendees could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets to supplying hundreds, even thousands of stores, Sam’s Clubs and on Walmart.com.

“We were walking into an entirely new and welcoming world,” said Gwen Hurt, owner of Shoe Crazy Wine, about her experience at Walmart’s 2018 Open Call where a Walmart buyer decided to test her product in 66 stores. “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.”

Walmart says as of August 2020, it is expanding She Crazy Wine to 118 stores across Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

Walmart announced in January 2013 its commitment to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs by 2023. The Open Call is one way the company continues to invest in its commitment.

Visit Walmart’s website for applications for the Open Call and join the conversation on social media by using #WalmartOpenCall.

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