TAMPA, Fla., [June 8, 2018] – A chance to reach millions of Walmart customers awaits 44 Florida businesses next week when they head to Bentonville, Ark., to meet one-on-one with buyers for a chance to get their products on store shelves.
The Florida entrepreneurs will join more than 450 on June 13 at this year’s fifth annual Open Call event, pitching their locally made products to Walmart buyers in hopes that they will earn a spot on a store shelf near you. Attendees represent 46 states, Puerto Rico and District of Columbia, pitching products that range from cold brew coffee and gourmet popcorn to a stretchable heating therapy wrap and self-adhesive mosaic wall tiles.
“We are so excited about this year’s event and the opportunity to meet the entrepreneurs that look to Open Call as a chance to get the big break they have been looking for,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president for Merchandising Services and U.S. Manufacturing. “We are proud of the supplier success stories from prior years and look forward to helping more entrepreneurs realize the American dream.”
Florida businesses participating include Livell Co. in Pinellas Park and KIWI KISS in Boca Raton.
Family owned business Livell Co. will pitch its patented stretchable heating pad called Therma-Stretch® Therapy Wrap while KIWI KISS will pitch its “Sour, Sweet Kiwi Treat,” an all natural, dried fruit combination of kiwi, strawberry and honey.
“Livell Co’s company motto is: Live Well * Feel Better,” said Kate Sauls, who helped found the company with her children. “Livell Co. accomplishes this by providing a non-pharmaceutical way to deliver pain management, relaxation and comfort with its entire line of therapy products. Walmart is giving us the opportunity to provide comfort and relief for the entire nation.”
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 Walmart.com. The daylong event informs, empowers and encourages all who attend while providing a great networking opportunity for local entrepreneurs.
Last year, Florida businesses like Orlando-based O’Dang Hummus and Delray Beach-based Bakers Sto N Go received deals on the spot from Walmart buyers, and their products are now hitting store shelves across the country.
In 2013, Walmart made a commitment to purchase an additional $250 billion by 2023 in products made, sourced or grown in the U.S. Open Call underscores this commitment and is one way in which the company continues to invest in American jobs by supporting U.S. manufacturing. 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 $5.7 billion with Florida suppliers, supporting 89,773 local jobs.
For more information on Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing, visit https://corporate.walmart.com/americaatwork.
About Walmart in Florida
In Florida, we serve customers at 383 retail units and online through Walmart Grocery Pickup, Walmart.com and Jet.com. We are proud to employ 107,460 associates in Florida. Walmart supports local businesses, spending $5.7 billion with Florida suppliers in FYE17, which supported 89,773 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 $82.75 million in cash and in-kind donations to local nonprofits in Florida. Learn more at the Walmart Today blog, and our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram channels.
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