Are you an entrepreneur hoping for a big break that will allow you to sell your products at local Walmart stores, or perhaps even nationwide? Walmart’s Open Call is scheduled for June 13 in Bentonville, Arkansas, but the deadline to secure a seat at the table with one of the company’s buyers is this Friday, May 4. Visit walmart-jump.com for more details on how to apply.
DUDE Products, an Illinois-based small business launched by four friends out of their Chicago apartment, successfully pitched Walmart at the 2017 Open Call, reaching an initial deal to sell DUDE Wipes at about 1,000 stores and on Walmart.com. After this initial run, the retailer made the decision to expand DUDE Wipes to every U.S. store beginning in June 2018, over 4,000 stores in total.
“Back when we started DUDE Wipes in our apartment, it was always a dream to be in toilet paper aisles across the country,” said Sean Riley, President and Chief Executive Dude. “With the help of Walmart’s Made-in-the-USA initiative, DUDE has made that happen. We’re looking forward to a fresher America.”
“Walmart’s investment in U.S.-manufactured products goes beyond the shelf. The investment is also in the entrepreneurs’ dream, and that can be an emotional experience for everyone involved,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart’s vice president of Merchandise Services and U.S. Manufacturing. “By investing in products that support American jobs, we’re able to bring new products to our shelves and new jobs to our communities.”
Attendees at this year’s Open Call could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in a local market, to supplying hundreds or even thousands of stores, Sam’s Club locations and Walmart.com. The daylong event informs, empowers and encourages all who attend while providing a great networking opportunity for local entrepreneurs.
A brand-new batch of products identified during the 2017 Open Call event recently landed on Walmart store shelves, representing the dreams of dozens of entrepreneurs across the country.
“Strong domestic manufacturing and retail sectors go hand-in-hand, because they rely on each other to succeed,” said Rob Karr, President of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “Events like this create an opportunity for Made-in-the-USA products and companies and are crucial to stimulating economic growth here in Illinois.”
In January 2013, Walmart announced it intends to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products that support American jobs over 10 years. Based on data from Boston Consulting Group, it’s estimated that 1 million new U.S. jobs will be created through this initiative. Last year, Walmart spent $34.8 billion with Illinois suppliers, supporting 167,467 local jobs.