The Crusader Newspaper Group

Calling Illinois entrepreneurs: Walmart wants your products at 5th annual open call event

Attention Illinois entrepreneurs, Walmart is looking to serve up the big break you’ve been looking for during Walmart’s Open Call scheduled for June 13, 2018 in Bentonville, Arkansas. You can apply now for a chance to secure a seat at a table with one of the company’s buyers by visiting walmart-jump.comthe deadline is May 4.

DUDE Products, an Illinois-based small business launched by four friends out of their Chicago apartment, successfully pitched Walmart at the 2017 Open Call, reaching an initial deal to sell DUDE Wipes at about 1,000 stores and on After this initial run, the retailer made the decision to expand DUDE Wipes to every U.S. store beginning in June 2018, over 4,000 stores in total.

“Back when we started DUDE Wipes in our apartment, it was always a dream to be in toilet paper aisles across the country,” said Sean Riley, President and Chief Executive Dude. “With the help of Walmart’s Made-in-the-USA initiative, DUDE has made that happen. We’re looking forward to a fresher America.”

“Walmart’s investment in U.S.-manufactured products goes beyond the shelf. The investment is also in the entrepreneurs’ dream, and that can be an emotional experience for everyone involved,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart’s vice president of Merchandise Services and U.S. Manufacturing. “By investing in products that support American jobs, we’re able to bring new products to our shelves and new jobs to our communities.”

Attendees at this year’s Open Call could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in a local market, to supplying hundreds or even thousands of stores, Sam’s Club locations and The daylong event informs, empowers and encourages all who attend while providing a great networking opportunity for local entrepreneurs.

A brand-new batch of products identified during the 2017 Open Call event recently landed on Walmart store shelves, representing the dreams of dozens of entrepreneurs across the country, including:

  • Orlandoresidents are beaming with pride after O’Dang Hummus fulfilled founder Jesse Wolfe’s childhood dream and secured a deal to put their low calorie healthy snack on Walmart shelves. As of today, the O’Dang Hummus products can be found in more than 2,000 stores.
  • ZolliPops CEO, Alina Morse, proves that age is only a number. The 12-year old entrepreneur from Michigan landed her products on the shelves of over 4,500 Walmart locations.
  • Sleep is essential and Terra Beauty Products Barsshowcased their Florida-manufactured Go To Sleep Natural Pillow Mist to buyers, earning the product a trial in 85 stores.
  • Curries by Nature Simmer Saucesis a Texas-based business that landed a deal to sell its authentic Indian Simmer Sauce in more than 400 stores.
  • The health & beauty category is testing Sundari, LLC’s Neem Hand Oil in approx. 100 stores. The quality hand oil is manufactured in California.
  • RedHead Wineof Youngstown, Ohio, is the product of a third generation wine maker who paired perfectly with Walmart during Open Call in 2017, securing a deal to be on the shelves of 150-plus stores.
  • Room décor takes on a whole new perspective with Decalcomania’s Augmented Reality Wall Posters, currently available in 1,000 stores and manufactured in Idaho.
  • Louisiana’sWoman owned Southern Design secured a deal with Walmart to sell University specific wall art. The unique product caught the eye of buyers with the on trend look and uniqueness.

“Strong domestic manufacturing and retail sectors go hand-in-hand, because they rely on each other to succeed,” said Rob Karr, President of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “Events like this create an opportunity for Made-in-the-USA products and companies and are crucial to stimulating economic growth here in Illinois.”

In January 2013, Walmart announced it intends to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products that support American jobs over 10 years. Based on data from Boston Consulting Group, it’s estimated that 1 million new U.S. jobs will be created through this initiative. Last year, Walmart spent $34.8 billion with Illinois suppliers, supporting 167,467 local jobs.

About Walmart in Illinois

In Illinois we serve customers at 195 retail units and online through Walmart Grocery and We are proud to employ 53,687 associates in Illinois. Walmart supports local businesses, spending $34.8 billion with Illinois suppliers in FYE17, which supported 167,467 supplier jobs. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are active in the communities where we live and work and invest in communities through local grants, customer engagement and associate volunteer efforts. In FYE17, we contributed more than $46.5 million in cash and in-kind donations to local nonprofits in Illinois and our Illinois associates volunteered more than 37,000 hours with local causes. Learn more at the Walmart Today blog, and our FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram channels.

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