Walmart opens application period for Open Call 2024

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 148 views 

Walmart is seeking more U.S.-made products at its 11th annual Open Call, which will be held Sept. 25-26 in Bentonville. The application period for entrepreneurs and product manufacturers is now open through July 15.

Bentonville-based Walmart hit the road earlier this month promoting the Open Call event meeting with past participants and potential candidates. Walmart stopped in Atlanta and met with the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, where prospective participants pitched to a Walmart team in hopes of getting a fast pass to attend the Open Call in September.  Twelve entrepreneurs, including Kayla’s Italian, Honeysuckle Moon and Yacht Club Access were selected.

Walmart employees also traveled to San Antonio where they met with prospective suppliers who they encouraged to apply for the Open Call event. Representatives with Puro Tepache said the meeting with Walmart was relaxed, but they also shared three takeaways for applicants: Be open to feedback, do your homework and keep a positive attitude.

Walmart plans to notify entrepreneurs on Aug. 20 with their ticket to the event in late September.

“Open Call offers an extraordinary growth opportunity for small and medium businesses. Entrepreneurs who secure a ‘golden ticket’ – a deal for Walmart to sell their products in stores or online – can gain access to a vast customer base, enabling significant growth,” wrote Jason Fremstad, Walmart’s senior vice president of supplier development, sourcing, in a company blog. “After earning golden tickets, Open Call winners often go on to grow their manufacturing footprints and create jobs within their local communities.”

During last year’s event, Walmart and Sam’s Club merchants heard more than 1,000 product pitches from more than 700 businesses from all 50 states. Walmart said in 2023, around 180 pitches resulted in 130 golden ticket deals for suppliers. The retail giant also said 470 products earned consideration for future deals.