BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is announcing the finalists for its eighth annual Open Call event, with more than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses receiving their official invitations to pitch their shelf-ready products to Walmart merchants. It marks the largest number of business owners ever to take part in the one-day event.
Walmart will hold Open Call in a virtual format for the second year in a row, set for June 30. Suppliers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will each have 30-minute one-on-one meetings with Walmart merchants, where they’ll have the opportunity to pitch their U.S. made, grown or assembled products. Participants could secure deals ranging from a few local stores to supplying hundreds of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations as well as Walmart.com and Walmart Marketplace.
On March 3, Walmart announced a new commitment to spend an additional $350 billion on items made, grown or assembled in the United States. Walmart’s Open Call is one way in which the company supports this commitment. More than 4,300 businesses applied for the chance to pitch their products, and more than 12,500 merchant meetings were requested, marking one of the largest number of Open Call applications received in the event’s eight-year history.
“We’re thrilled with the growth we’ve seen in our Open Call event, as we’ve seen time and again its power to support new and existing jobs and help small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for global sourcing and U.S. manufacturing. “We know that U.S. manufacturing matters a lot to our shoppers. Programs like Open Call serve to bolster communities, provide more value to our customers and improve the way we do business.”
Walmart surprised several dozen unsuspecting applicants with their Open Call invitations this year. Applicants were invited to join a Zoom meeting where they were told they would receive “updates and important information” about their Open Call application. The unsuspecting business owners joined the Zoom meeting expecting to hear about next steps in the application process and were surprised with the news that they had already secured a spot at this year’s Open Call event instead.
In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart and Sam’s Club merchants, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives at the hour-long kickoff of the event. Smaller breakout sessions will be available throughout the day where suppliers can learn more on valuable topics and about resources available to them.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.