Missouri entrepreneurs encouraged to pitch their 'made in the USA' products to Walmart at upcoming Open Call event

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Entrepreneurs from across the state of Missouri are invited to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their "made in the USA" product ideas to Walmart buyers as part of the retailer's annual Open Call event. Registration is now underway for the day-long, June 28 event, at walmart-jump.com, and will continue through May 18. Those that are selected to participate in Open Call will have the potential to get their products on the shelves of the world's largest retailer and/or online at www.Walmart.com or www.Samsclub.com.

"We are excited to once again invite businesses from all 50 states to meet with Walmart buyers who have one goal in mind, to buy more American products for our stores, clubs and Walmart.com," said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart's vice president of U.S. Manufacturing. "By investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new products to our shelves that our customers want and new jobs to our communities. Increasing domestic manufacturing will help create additional jobs in the U.S., and that's good for American businesses."

Walmart buyers will be looking to make deals of varying sizes. In some cases, Walmart will select businesses to supply products to a handful of stores in a local market, while other businesses will be chosen to supply hundreds or thousands of stores, in addition to selling their products at Sam's Club locations and at Walmart.com.

Kansas City-based Mighty Good Solutions is among the many Missouri companies who have signed successful deals as part of previous Open Call events. In 2014, the company landed a deal to place its product, the Mighty Handle, which allows users to carry multiple plastic shopping bags at one time, on the shelves of 4,500 Walmart stores nationwide.

"For small manufacturing companies like mine, Open Call is really like playing in the Super Bowl," said Ben Rondo, co-founder of Mighty Good Solutions. "Our Open Call deal truly put us on the map. Prior to our deal, our product was only available in regional grocery store chains. Now, the Mighty Handle can be found in every city in the country."

In January 2013, Walmart committed to American renewal by announcing 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 the Open Call initiative.

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