Walmart celebrates 10th anniversary of local supplier pitch competition

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Walmart on Tuesday announced that it is now accepting applications for its tenth annual Open Call event.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to apply to pitch their products to be sold in-store at Walmart or Sam’s Club, or on Walmart’s website.

Applications are open until Aug. 18, with the Open Call event taking place on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, during Manufacturing Month. All Open Call finalists will have access to mentoring sessions with Walmart leaders and guests. Each finalist will also have a one-on-one pitch meeting with Walmart or Sam’s Club merchants.

The competition, which is the retailer’s largest sourcing event, is part of Walmart’s strategy to source products that are made, grown or assembled in the U.S.

Last year’s Open Call event was Walmart’s largest to date, with over 1,100 businesses pitching products. It resulted in 330 of the pitches turning into deals for those businesses.

In order to discover new entrepreneurs, this year the company launched its Walmart: Made Local trailer tour. It began on July 10 in Frederick, Maryland, and has future stops in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Chicago. Participating small business can visit the trailer to record a video to apply to this year’s Open Call and meet suppliers who earned deals at previous events.

In 2021, Walmart announced its intent to spend $350 billion over ten years on supplies produced in the U.S. as a way to increase support for small and diverse suppliers. Sourcing locally carries additional benefits including decreasing supply chain risk and reducing carbon emissions.

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