NEW ORLEANS – If you’ve ever dreamed of potentially reaching thousands of customers with your American products, now is the time to act: Walmart is accepting applications for its 6th annual Open Call, scheduled for June 18 and 19 at the company’s Home Office campus in Bentonville, Ark.
Apply by visiting Walmart-jump.com for the opportunity to secure a face-to-face pitch meeting with a Walmart buyer. The application deadline is April 30.
“Open Call is an incredible experience, especially for a smaller company like Geaux Creole,” said Chris Freret, owner of Mandeville, Louisiana-based company, Geaux Creole, LLC. “The opportunity to present our products to the world’s largest retailer in a one-on-one setting was invaluable and we are thrilled that Geaux Creole seasoning and Creole Dust products will be on Walmart shelves soon.”
This year’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 Walmart.com. The two-day event informs, empowers and encourages attendees while providing effective networking opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
“Our customers tell us that products made, sourced or grown in the U.S. are important to them and we work year-round to identify local suppliers and source products that our customers are proud to buy,”said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart’s vice president of Merchandise Services and U.S. Manufacturing. “Walmart’s Annual Open Call gives us a unique opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from across the country and discover new, niche and innovative products that fill a need for our customers and support jobs right here in America.”
During the 2018 Walmart Open Call, nearly 600 meetings were held with product pitches including toys, apparel, natural health and beauty aids, and food. Prospective suppliers traveled from 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. More than half of the attending businesses self-identified as diverse, including nearly 25 percent identifying as women-owned.
In January 2013, Walmart announced its commitment to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs by 2023. Walmart’s Open Call is one way in which the company continues to invest in this commitment. Last year, Walmart spent $474.6 million with Louisiana suppliers, supporting 53,908 local jobs.A