Hoosier companies advance in Walmart Open Call

(Photo Supplied/Walmart)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside Indiana Business): Two Indiana-based companies are moving forward in Walmart’s annual Open Call event.

Summit Outdoors LLC in Fort Wayne and Hoosier Daddy BBQ in Dyer were among more than 900 small businesses from throughout the country to pitch for their products to be sold on Walmart and Sam’s Club shelves. Summit Outdoors Chief Executive Officer Joel Harter calls the opportunity exciting as the company advances to the next step in the process.

In an interview with Inside Indiana Business, Harter said partnering with Walmart brings many benefits.

“We want to be wherever the consumer wants us to be, be it online or in brick-and-mortar stores or through our dealer network and Walmart, obviously being the largest retailer in the world, they get lots of foot traffic and lots of people through the stores so we’re just thrilled to have an opportunity like a Walmart to carry and handle our products and make them available to their millions and millions of customers,” said Harter.

Summit Outdoors is a brand marketer of hunting and outdoor-related products, such as deer blinds. The company has pitched its Tail Mate seat cushions and SlotLock anchoring products in the Walmart Open Call.

After advancing in the Open Call, both Summit and Hoosier Daddy BBQ will continue to work with Walmart’s buyers and Summit National Sales Manager Cindy Teague says the next step for them is to submit samples of their products to the company.

“I think it’s a very positive step forward not just for the last half of this year, but going into 2022,” said Teague. “Our buyers have told us they would like to see these on the shelves in 2022, so we’re excited for the long-term outlook of these products at Walmart.”

Teague says they expect to hear whether their products will be made available on Walmart or Sam’s Club shelves within about four weeks. Walmart says the products could also be sold on the stores’ websites or the Walmart Marketplace.

“We’re hoping that maybe this gives us the opportunity to sell maybe additional products or an assortment not just this year, but in the future,” said Harter.

Walmart says the Open Call is part of its $350 billion commitment to source items made, grown, or assembled in the U.S., including from small businesses, over the next decade.

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