Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kfinancial/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seo-internal-links/seo-links.php on line 112
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kfinancial/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seo-internal-links/seo-links.php on line 306
Notice: get_currentuserinfo is deprecated since version 4.5.0! Use wp_get_current_user() instead. in /home/kfinancial/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3853
Wal-Mart is looking for a few good entrepreneurs.
In its push to promote home-grown ingenuity, the world’s largest retailer is encouraging Southern California entrepreneurs to pitch their made-in-the-USA products to the company’s buyers in a day-long event that will be held next month at the company’s Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters.
Cindi Marsiglio, Wal-Mart’s vice president of U.S. manufacturing, said the company’s goal is to buy more American-made products for its stores.
The initiative promotes jobs, American businesses
“By investing in products that support American jobs we are able to bring new products to our shelves that our customers want and new jobs to our communities,” Marsiglio said in a statement. “Increasing domestic manufacturing will help create additional jobs in the U.S., and that’s good for American businesses.”
The mega-retailer will be looking for deals of all shapes and sizes ranging from supplying a product to a handful of stores in a local market, to supplying hundreds or thousands of stores as well as Sam’s Club locations and Wal-Mart.com.
Some success stories
If you’re feeling intimidated at the prospect of pitching your product to Wal-Mart buyers, consider this: Trident Case, a minority owned, small business in Chino, recently landed a deal for its cell phone cases to be sold in more than 3,800 Wal-Mart stores across the country. And Hollywood Bed Frame Co. in Commerce provides bed frames to 3,200 Wal-Mart stores. They’ve been a Wal-Mart vendor for three years.
“I’m very excited that a company like Wal-Mart is listening to what people feel in the U.S.,” said Larry Harrow, Hollywood Bed Frame’s CEO. “People like to buy domestic products that are made here. It’s nice to know that a retailer like Wal-Mart is trying to adapt to help American families.”
Hollywood Bed Frame is a third-generation, family owned operation that was started in the mid 1940s by Harrow’s father, Irving. Harrow’s son Jason currently serves as president of the business.
The company employs 170 workers and it recently announced an expansion plan to support its Wal-Mart business.
“When the new building is finished we’ll have more than 100,000 square feet of space,” Harrow said.
Trident is based in Chino but the company’s 35,000-square-foot production facility is in Rancho Cucamonga.
“We’re selling two different styles of cases for the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus through Wal-Mart,” said Tyler Knowles, the company’s marketing manager. “One is in color and the other is black and gray. They both have an Amercian flag on the back.”
Trident secured its contract with Wal-Mart in October, a move that necessitated the hiring of 40 additional employees.
“We’re proud to be an American company and we keep our growth and support within the community as much as we can,” Knowles said. “We also sell our products through Best Buy and to the government and school districts.”
This year marks the fourth time Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has held an event for entrepreneurs to pitch their products.
450 companies showed up last year
“Last year about 450 companies pitched over 750 products and everyone, with a few exceptions, was offered a contract with Wal-Mart.com,” company spokesman Scott Markley said. “We’re looking for products that are new and exciting, ranging from toys to apparel to barbecue sauce.”
Markley said businesses must be able to assemble and distribute their products in order for them to be considered by Wal-Mart. But sometimes the company does provide a little assistance.
“We have helped some of these people meet with financiers and other suppliers who can help them accelerate the process,” he said.
Niche markets served online
Anthony Dukes, an associate professor of marketing at USC and an expert in retail pricing strategies and big box stores, said Wal-Mart’s reach out to entrepreneurs has likely helped it capture a segment of customers it might otherwise not have gotten.
“The fact that some of these products are being sold online means you can serve a lot of niche markets that you couldn’t in a regular store,” he said. “And they are getting their made-in-America message out. That matters to some people.”
In January 2013, Wal-Mart announced that it would buy an additional $250 billion in products by American companies over 10 years.
Wal-Mart’s day-long event for entrepreneurs will be held June 28 and buyers will be on hand. Registration is underway at Wal-Mart-jump.com and the deadline to apply is May 18.