Walmart Picks 1,200 Businesses in Largest-Ever ‘Open Call’


Walmart has made its selections for its Open Call, its largest sourcing event, the company announced in a Wednesday (June 8) news release.

Now in its ninth year, the event is a crucial driver of customer traffic to the world’s largest retailer, both in-store and on-line. Walmart says it has invited close to 1,200 small and medium-sized businesses — out of 4,500 applicants — to take part in the event, the largest group ever selected.

As PYMNTS reported in March, Open Call is designed to bring products made, grown or assembled in the U.S. to shoppers around the country, either in-store on the web. Walmart bills it as part of its 10-year, $350 billion pledge to support American jobs.

Learn more: Walmart Kicks Off Annual Product ‘Gong Show’ With Open Invite to Entrepreneurs

The selected business owners will get the chance to pitch their products to Walmart and/or Sam’s Club merchants on the second day of the Open Call, scheduled for June 28 and 29.

Each supplier will have a 30-minute window to pitch their product one-on-one, with the goal of getting deals that range from supplying products to a handful local stores to having their products on the shelves of hundreds of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations as well as and Walmart Marketplace.

In addition to the pitch meetings, participants will get the chance to hear from Walmart executives and merchants and attend break-out sessions where suppliers can find out more about resources available to them.

While the event is serious business for Walmart, the company pitches it as something akin to a game show, with this year’s entrepreneurs being notified via delivery done, or on a Zoom call with Kevin Jonas of the pop group The Jonas Brothers.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is contagious, and that energy is a big part of what makes Open Call so much fun,” said Scott Gutche, Walmart senior director, U.S. manufacturing.