By Home Textiles Today
This article was published in Home Textiles Today July 1, 2021. We're sharing because it aligns closely with July's "Made in America" theme for Behind the Seams. Specifically, the article announces Walmart's American Lighthouses initiative which is designed to "overcome barriers to U.S. manufacturing," starting with the textile industry.
Announced at the conclusion of the retailer’s annual Open Call event on June 30, American Lighthouses aims to bring together key stakeholders in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome top-down barriers to U.S. manufacturing. The program is designed to “support and pilot innovative projects and provide tools and resources for businesses to invest in U.S. production, making the supply chain more efficient, sustainable and making it easier for U.S. manufacturing to flourish,” said Laura Phillips, senior vice president, customer and business development and U.S. manufacturing for global sourcing at Walmart.
Textiles will be the initial area of focus, with will expand to include metals and motors, food processing, plastics, pharmaceutical and medical supplies.
The recent Open Call event featured more than 900 small businesses from across the country pitching their products made, grown or assembled in the U.S. to Walmart and Sam’s Club merchants today – the largest number to take part in the one-day event. Business owners represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Of those businesses, 167 of their products are advancing to the next stage in the process to land a deal with Walmart or Sam’s Club and another 705 are receiving further consideration.
Businesses that advanced during Open Call will now work with merchants on opportunities to sell their products in Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs. All businesses which took part in Open Call are eligible to sell their shelf-stable products on Walmart’s various online platforms: Walmart.com, Walmart Marketplace or Samsclub.com.