Walmart hosted 450 business owners at its company headquarters as part of its “Made in the USA” initiative as it looks to stock shelves with products made in the US. The company told attendees that it was telling the “Made in America” story at a company level through targeted marketing, and urged them to tell the story at the product level through their packaging and product labeling.
The company is clearly capitalizing on what could be called “China fatigue” and a desire to support American businesses and jobs. In fact, Walmart says “Made in the USA” is a strong driver of purchase decisions that is second only to price.
Walmart is committed to sourcing an additional $250 billion in products made, assembled or grown in the US by 2023.
Last week’s event was Walmart’s fourth annual U.S. Manufacturing Summit and the third annual open call where it hosted US businesses. Throughout the day, Walmart held product meetings with merchants. Also on the agenda were sessions on consumer perceptions, how to engage with Walmart, and current US manufacturing trends.
One session merchants could attend offered advice on how to locate or expand factories in the US and work with state and federal government agencies to learn about resources and incentives.
Another session explained the Walmart supplier onboard process – “learn how to navigate the various requirements and processes to get started with Walmart as a new supplier. Hear from Walmart resource teams including Supplier Administration, Supplier Diversity and others to understand how your business can benefit by leveraging these resources.”
The hundreds of attendees represented companies large and small that pitched everything from food to toys to apparel, and Walmart said it was putting every shelf-stable item pitched at Open Call on Walmart.com.
Walmart estimates one million new US jobs will be crated through its initiative – 250,000 direct manufacturing jobs and 750,000 in the support and service sectors.