At its world headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Walmart hosted more than 500 manufacturers July 8 in order to fulfill its commitment to spending an additional $250 billion on US-made products.
“In an unprecedented event, we are opening our doors and making our buyers available to meet with suppliers with one goal in mind: buy more American products,” said Bill Simon, CEO, Walmart U.S.
The event held on July 8 is the “Made in the USA” Open Call.
“When we buy new products, suppliers hire people to make those products,” he added. “These American jobs build families and communities, and they help our country thrive. That’s really what our domestic manufacturing commitment is all about.”
Over 10 years, Walmart has said it will spend an additional $250 billion on products supporting domestic manufacturing and American jobs. To this the company will increase what it already buys of U.S. manufactured goods, will source ‘new to Walmart’ U.S. manufactured goods, and support the re-shoring of manufacturing of the goods it currently buys.
Examples of products being pitched include:
- Sleeping Bags
- Bed Sheets
- Shower Curtains
- Trash Bags
- TV Wall Mounts
- Car Adaptors for Electronics
- Office Supplies
- Plastic Toys
“By hosting the open call, we will be able to discover new products that we didn’t know were out there,” added Simon. “We’re excited to find new items that will delight our customers at prices they can afford. This is not a program or a promotion – this is economics. For many products, the math simply works.”
One of Walmart’s goals for the event is for people to leave better informed than when they arrived. To help achieve this aim, the company’s experts will host a series of educational breakout sessions on key merchandise topics, including:
- Labeling and Packaging
- Product Compliance
- Supplier Administration
- The Walmart Customer
- Supplier Diversity
“Our customers have told us they want to buy products that support their communities, and with changes in energy and automation processes overseas, it is increasingly cost-effective and efficient to manufacture closest to the point of consumption ,” said Michelle Gloeckler, Walmart’s executive vice president of consumables and U.S. manufacturing.
According to data from Walmart’s suppliers, items that are made, sourced, assembled or grown in America already account for about two-thirds of what Walmart U.S. spends to buy products.