Building on the success of last year’s “Made in the USA” Open Call, Walmart is again reaching out to suppliers asking them to pitch products manufactured in the U.S.
On July 7-8 the company, at its Bentonville, Ark. headquarter, will meet with potential suppliers as well facilitate meetings between suppliers and key state economic development officials with knowledge of available U.S. manufacturing locations.
“Open Call is a unique opportunity to find great products made or assembled by American workers," said Cindi Marsiglio, vice president, sourcing and manufacturing for Walmart U.S. “With these suppliers, we can increase domestic manufacturing through our commitment to purchase more U.S.-made goods benefiting our customers and communities.
In 2013, the company announced it would purchase an additional $250 billion in products made in the U.S. over 10 years. To achieve this the company increased purchasing of current U.S. manufactured goods as well as sourced ‘new to Walmart’ U.S. manufactured goods. The company also supported the reshoring to U.S. of goods the retailer already buys.
Last year more than 800 meetings were held at the Open Summit resulting in a number of deals which ranged from large companies such as GE, to very small companies such as Chef Jenn.
Examples of 2014 Open Call Deals:
General Electric is creating 150 jobs to produce domestically made GE Energy Efficient Soft White bulbs that will be sold exclusively at U.S.-based Walmart stores. As part of the effort, GE opened three factories in Mattoon, Ill., and Circleville and Bucyrus, Ohio.
Chef Jenn first began selling her seafood items made in her Memphis kitchen to friends six years ago. She presented her products to the Walmart seafood buyer who gave her a deal on the spot. Today, her line of high-quality seafood products are in more than 800 Walmart stores across the country.
Giti Tires first met with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at Walmart’s manufacturing summit in 2013. This year, the company announced it will establish a facility in Chester County, S.C., that will create 1,700 jobs over the next decade. The facility will produce opening price point tires for Walmart.
Bell Sports, which has been making bike helmets for over 60 years will entirely re-shore production for a 100% Made in the USA helmet. These helmets were on shelves at Walmart beginning 2015.
Element Electronics Corp. plans to open a new flat screen TV assembly facility in Winnsboro, S.C. Assembly is scheduled to begin in December 2013 and the aggressive project will target up to 500 jobs.
True Science, which makes quality, all natural, Made in the USA pet products and treats, had been selling to 75 Walmart stores in 2012—now they’re in 800 stores. True Science had just 20 employees in 2010, and now employs over 300 in their facilities.
Jarratt Industries owners Hugh and Nicole Jarratt are Arkansas natives who developed a plastic plate used specifically for tacos and known simply as, ‘the taco plate.’ After pitching the product to Walmart, the company ordered one million taco plates to sell at all Walmart stores across the country.
Other announcements were made as well.