Wal-Mart ‘Get on the Shelf’ winners chosen

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 130 views 

Elvis inspired bedding and customized wristbands by SKRIBS will be the two newest products finding their way to Walmart.com shelves as the retailer recently wrapped up its annual “Get on the shelf” contest.

The Elvis Presley Home Bedding Collection will retail for $99.95 on Walmart.com and features several designs by Legends Home Bedding, based in Woodland Hills, Calif.

David Bursteen, co-president of the company, said he has been an Elvis fan and collector his entire life and scored a rare licensing agreement for bedding products that feature Elvis’ image. Bursteen said the company wanted to give adults their own opportunity to enjoy licensed product bedding and felt Elvis was a great place to start because he has a huge built-in fan case. He said winning space on the shelf at Wal-Mart is a dream come true for any small supplier. The company hopes to expand its line to include other legends such as Audrey Hepburn and James Dean.

The other grand prize winner, Tumi Oredein is the founder and creator of SKRIBS customizable wristbands. He created the simple product in 2012 harking back to the days of his own adolescence saying he always loved to wear armbands that he could customize with a sentiment or design that fit the moment.

The simple silicone bands work like a dry erase board that allows kids to personalize the messages they want to wear, then wipe them clean and change the design whenever they want.

The product will retail for $8.95 for a pack of three on Walmart.com. Oredein said the margins are high and appeal for the product is wide, which should be win-win for his Richmond, Va,-based business and Wal-Mart. He expects to get his first delivery by January.

Thousands of supplier hopefuls took part in this year’s competition, but the winners were chosen based on pre-orders from consumers after a team of Walmart.com buyers and marketing professionals evaluated the 20 finalists based on consumer votes.

Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said last week the contest is still small in relation to the scope of the retailer’s business.

“Many of the potential suppliers have no manufacturing in place, they are simply a product idea when they enter the contest,” he said during a retail conference in Fayetteville last week.

That was the case for last year’s winner HumanKindWater who beat out 5,000 applicants. The Philadelphia-based bottled water company received a one-year deal to be sold in 200 Walmart stores and on Walmart.com. The company said 100% of the net profits go toward setting up clean water wells, water filtration and rain catchment systems in Haiti, Africa and Asia.

Before it won, HumanKindWater didn't have any projects underway. A year later, it has 30 wells and filtration systems in four countries, said president T.J. Foltz.