Retailers are constantly on the lookout for the next big brand — and they know it will likely come from small and diverse-owned companies ready to make their retail debut. That’s exactly what buyers hope to find at events like Walgreen’s Top Shelf, Target’s Accelerators, and Walmart’s Open Call.
Open Call by the numbers
In 2022, Walmart hosted its 9th annual Open Call event online and in-person at their Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters June 28-29. More than 14,000 brands applied, and about 1,100 (less than 10%) were invited to present to Walmart buyers. Retail Smarter is proud to have earned invitations for all three of our client CPG brands who applied. At the event about 300 products earned Golden Tickets — on-the-spot decisions by category managers to give winning products their chance on the shelf. We were thrilled to receive not just one, but two Golden Tickets on behalf of the truly outstanding CPG brands we represent.
How Walmart’s annual Open Call event works
Applying to Walmart’s Open Call is straightforward. Just complete the online application before the annual deadline. You’ll need to provide information about your product, your company, and documentation that you’re made, grown, or assembled in the U.S. You’ll also need to create a free account with RangeMe, the leading platform that connects retail buyers with CPG suppliers.
Creating an application that stands out from the competition — well, that takes hard work and a little CPG know-how. To help small and diverse-owned brands make the cut, we polish their RangeMe profiles with updated brand messaging and refreshed consumer packaging that truly sets them apart from what’s already on Walmart shelves.
Invited participants are given 30 minutes to convince a category buyer that their CPG brand should become part of the Walmart family. Golden Ticket winners receive a “deal” ranging from a few local stores to hundreds of stores regionally or nationally. So, the Retail Smarter team makes sure the retail sales presentation is as buttoned-up and retail ready as possible.
A positive impact on the U.S. economy
Walmart’s Open Call is a great opportunity for U.S. entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow retail sales by reaching millions of shoppers. It is also another way that Walmart supports U.S. manufacturing and jobs. The $350 billion dollar commitment by Walmart is expected to support more than 750,000 new American jobs over the next 10 years.
A passion for helping small brands get their big break
We regularly participate in small brand and diverse-focused events, like Open Call, Top Shelf, and ECRM. And we applaud retailers who recognize that the future belongs to emerging brands with the innovations and authentic connections that today’s shoppers are looking for. Whether you’re an emerging CPG brand or a larger brand launching a new CPG product, we’re ready to help you connect with America’s retailers and shoppers. If you’re ready to retail smarter, let’s talk.