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    Sam’s Club Seeks New Suppliers in San Diego

    Women-, minority-owned businesses have opportunity to sell items at chain

    Sam's Club will take part in an Aug. 26-27 supplier event at which 100-plus small businesses in the San Diego area will present food and beverage products, with the chance of being featured in the chain's locations nationwide. The supplier participants, which include several women- and minority-owned businesses, were chosen from an application pool of more than 13,000 suppliers.

    Sam's Club's reason for participating in the event is to engage new suppliers, bolster relationships with its existing local suppliers, and find new foods and beverages relevant to its members in the Southwest and West. Recurring themes among event participants include organic and all-natural snacks and beverages; health-conscious grocery items; local beer, wine and tequila brands; and specialty sauces, cheeses and meats.

    "Sam's Club is focused on providing our members with savings, new and surprising products, and regionally relevant items,” noted Shawn Baldwin, SVP for grocery merchandise at the chain, a division of Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. "We're a retailer with a highly focused offering of products, so while we know we can't make every participant in the event a supplier, our merchants are ready to find the best products for our members and help the participating small businesses learn by increasing their knowledge of how to work with a big retailer."

    Supplier Diversity Program

    The event supports Sam's Club Supplier Diversity program, whose goal is to expand and advance the current pool of diverse suppliers, with an emphasis on small regional businesses and women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses. Sam’s Club hopes to attain this goal through education and mentoring new and existing suppliers.

    "When Sam's Club invests in new suppliers locally and regionally, those suppliers hire people to make products, and that creates jobs for small business owners and growth opportunities for their businesses, their families and their communities," explained Sean Mehranbod, the retailer’s regional general manager for Southwest operations.

    Sponsored and managed by Solon, Ohio-based retail marketing firm ECRM, the event will take place at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

    Sam's Club operates 640 locations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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