Walmart issues ‘Open Call’ to suppliers

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Walmart Lihu‘e welcomes guests with COVID-19 health and safety guidelines in place Friday.

LIHU‘E — Entrepreneurs of locally-produced goods who want to see their items on Walmart shelves have an opportunity during Walmart’s Seventh annual Open Call for U.S.-manufactured Products.

The first step toward this realization is the application process for the Open Call, when Walmart invites entrepreneurs to apply for the opportunity to meet with Walmart buyers on Oct. 1 via virtual-pitch meetings.

Application forms and additional information for registering are available at Walmart-jump.com. The application deadline is August 10.

The Open Call for U.S.-manufactured Products launches Walmart’s celebration of October as U.S. Manufacturing Month.

The sessions will include similar programming as in previous Open Call meetings where, in addition to one-on-on pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during smaller breakout sessions designed to inform, empower and encourage hopeful suppliers.

“During this year of unprecedented challenges for U.S. businesses, Walmart remains committed to sourcing products made, grown or assembled in the United States,” said Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for global sourcing and U.S. manufacturing.

“By investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new, exciting products to our customers, support new jobs in our local communities and invest in small business across the country,” said Phillips

Participants in this year’s Open Call could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets to supplying hundreds of stores, Sam’s Clubs, and also on Walmart.com.

“Walmart’s annual Open Call event gives us a unique opportunity to identify new suppliers who can meet our customers’ needs with unique and innovative products manufactured or produced in the United States,” Phillips said.

“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, in January 2013, 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. The Open Call is one way in which the company continues to invest in this commitment.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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