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In Minnesota, the Star Tribune has a story about how “Walmart is putting the word out for its sixth Open Call event, which now runs for two days, June 18 and 19, at the company's headquarters in Arkansas. The retailer will accept applications through April 30 for any company whose products are made, sourced or grown in the United States … The Open Call event is tied to a pledge Walmart made in 2013 to purchase $250 billion of American-made products over the next decade. The retailer estimated the move would create 1 million new U.S. jobs, including 250,000 in manufacturing and a ripple of 750,000 indirect jobs to support and service the products.”

According to the story, “Prospective suppliers will have 30 minutes to stand in a 6-foot by 10-foot room and make a product pitch to a representative of the largest company on the planet. Products could wind up in Walmart stores, Sam's Clubs or on walmart.com."

Last year, the story says, “Walmart buyers listened to nearly 600 pitches in every major product category, including toys, apparel, health and beauty, and food. It drew prospective suppliers from 46 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

"More than half self-identified as minority-owned, including nearly a quarter that were owned by women, the retailer said.”
KC's View:
This is the kind of great story that allows Walmart to burnish its reputation, as it supports small companies that might ordinarily not be able to get into its system.