By Jason Fremstad, Senior Vice President of Supplier Development, Sourcing
Walmart began accepting applications for its tenth annual Open Call event, inviting small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere to apply for the opportunity to pitch their products to be sold on Walmart or Sam’s Club shelves or on Walmart.com. Applications are open until August 18, 2023.
Open Call is at the heart of Walmart’s 10-year, $350 billion commitment to strengthening U.S. manufacturing by sourcing products that are made, grown or assembled in the U.S., and it was instrumental to Walmart achieving its previous $250 billion commitment. Open Call will take place on October 24 and 25 this year, during Manufacturing Month 2023.
This year’s application period is a special one as Walmart approaches a decade of providing Open Call opportunities. Open Call began back in 2014, when Walmart first opened its doors to more than 500 businesses with dreams of selling their U.S.-made products to millions of Walmart customers. Since then, Open Call has provided more and more opportunities, with over 1,100 small and medium businesses participating last year–making Open Call 2022 Walmart’s biggest one yet. Today, Open Call is the largest sourcing event for Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Open Call presents an incredible opportunity for small and medium businesses to grow their businesses. Entrepreneurs who earn a “golden ticket”–signifying a deal for Walmart to sell their products on its shelves or online–reach new customers, enabling them to grow. Through Open Call, Walmart has helped thousands of small and medium businesses thrive, with many expanding their U.S. manufacturing footprints and creating new manufacturing jobs in the communities they call home.
In fact, over the course of Walmart’s 10-year commitment to U.S. manufacturing, Open Call will have provided over 9,000 opportunities for small and medium businesses to grow with Walmart.
Entrepreneurs who walk away with a golden ticket aren’t the only ones who enjoy Open Call opportunities. All Open Call finalists will have access to mentoring sessions with Walmart leaders and special guests, where they can gain valuable business insights and resources. Plus, each finalist will have a one-on-one pitch meeting with Walmart and/or Sam’s Club merchants.
Find Us On Tour
To discover new Open Call entrepreneurs, Walmart is taking its U.S. manufacturing initiative on the road with the first-ever Walmart: Made Local trailer tour. The tour kicked off on July 10 in Frederick, Md., with additional stops in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Chicago. Entrepreneurs who visit the trailer can record a video to apply for Open Call 2023 and meet local Walmart suppliers who earned deals at previous Open Calls.
Local Snacks Initiative
Walmart also launched its Lead with Local snacks initiative earlier this year, boosting U.S. manufacturing even more. Through this initiative, Walmart sells locally made snacks prominently in stores, connecting customers to products from businesses in their hometowns. Over 130 Walmart stores are participating so far, with more to come.
Investing in local, U.S.-made products isn’t just an opportunity for Walmart’s suppliers. It also matters to Walmart’s customers.
What Customers Are Telling Us
More than 85% of Walmart shoppers have said it is important for retailers to carry goods made in the U.S. Already, more than two-thirds of Walmart’s annual product spend is on goods made, grown or assembled in the U.S. Thanks in part to Open Call, Walmart is taking this investment even further.
You can apply to Open Call engage.walmart-jump.com until August 18, 2023.