Entrepreneurs in Bentonville pitching products to Walmart buyers

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Hundreds of entrepreneurs from around the world hoping to get their products on the shelves of the world’s largest retailer.

Companies large and small, from all over the country will get the chance to pitch their products to Walmart buyers during the sixth annual Walmart Open Call.

Products are sourced and made here in America as a way to grow U.S. jobs. If chosen, products can end up in stores or online.

Kinna Thomas, senior buyer for Walmart says one of the most memorable success stories came from a small pie company.

“They brought a really great tasting product,” Thomas said. “Very nervous about the journey, but we ended up placing them in 150 stores eventually, and we grew the business from there.”

Thomas said the process started for the company four years ago and that the product will be in over three-thousand stores this year.

Some companies have pitched multiple times, including Hugh Jarratt with Jarratt Industries. He became a Walmart supplier six years ago when he pitched his Taco Plate. This year, he’s back again with a new product and said the process never gets easier. 

“There’s always nervousness,” Jarratt said. “When you have a new product it’s like having a new kid. You don’t know how it’s going to perform. You don’t know how people are going to accept it.” 

Open Call takes place Wednesday, June 19 at the Walmart Home Office.

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