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Walmart has invited more than 500 manufacturers to its world headquarters for its first-ever "Made in the USA" open call. The July 8 event allows suppliers to pitch products for stores, clubs and online to the mega-retailer's top leaders and merchants.
"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," explained Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. "When we buy new products, suppliers hire people to make those products. 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 plans to spend an additional $250 billion on products supporting domestic manufacturing and American jobs. The company intends to attain this goal by pursuing a multipronged approach that includes increasing what it already buys of U.S.-made products, sourcing "new to Walmart" U.S.-made goods, and supporting the re-shoring of manufacturing of the items it currently purchases.
New Affordable Products; American Jobs
"Increasing Walmart's purchases that support American jobs makes sense for our customers, our communities and our company," added Michelle Gloeckler, Walmart's EVP of consumables and U.S. manufacturing. "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. We can better respond to trends and customer demand while providing great products at affordable prices."
The event also features a series of educational breakout sessions on such key merchandise topics as labeling and packaging, product compliance, sustainability, how to be a Walmart supplier, the Walmart customer and supplier diversity.
According to data from Walmart's suppliers, items made, sourced, assembled or grown in the United States already account for about two-thirds of what Walmart U.S. spends to buy products.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates almost 11,000 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries, as well as e-commerce websites in 10 countries.