Steps to getting on Wal-Mart's shelves
If your company has invented products you might often dream about making tons of money selling those products to the general public. Those dreams may include getting your product displayed on the shelves of one of the biggest retail stores in the nation, Wal-Mart. But if you have tried to get onto Wal-Mart shelves in the past you have probably realized that this is not an easy task. Since Wal-Mart is one of the biggest retailers they have the biggest potential to reach millions of shoppers nationwide, this would be a huge bonus to anybody who has a product to sell. And because of how big Wal-Mart is they get numerous requests through their website and stores, as well as by telephone and mail, from suppliers hoping to get their products on Wal-Mart's shelves. Because of this high demand Wal-Mart is very selective on what products are displayed on their shelves. Here are a few simple steps to help you get your product displayed on Wal-Mart's shelves.
First you will need to get to know Wal-Mart. Getting to know the company and its needs, as well as your company can help Wal-Mart will help you to prepare a great presentation and will help you make a better impression when trying to get your products sold on their shelves. Some things to consider doing are visiting the company's website and reading up on its history; visit Wal-Mart stores, SAM'S Clubs, and/or Wal-Mart Supercenters to get to help you learn what types of products Wal-Mart sells, the quality of their products and a general idea on how Wal-Mart prices their products. You should also compare your products with the current Wal-Mart products to make sure it will be useful to Wal-Mart customers.
You will need to visit Wal-Mart Store's website, which is www.walmartstores.com, under the suppliers section you will find a proposal packet that needs to be filled out and turned in to a Wal-Mart buyer if you are trying to resale a product or if you are a non-resale/service supplier you will need to fill out and turn in a Supplier Questionnaire.
You will need to have financial statements for your company and must be able to properly assess your capacity for production through your financial information. If you are unsure how to assess your capacity for production based on your financial information you should consult with a Certified Public Accountant or a Small Business Development Center.
You also must obtain a Supplier Evaluation Report from Dun and Bradstreet. If your company is already a member of Dun and Bradstreet you need to make sure that your financial information is up to date. If you are not a member then you must register with Dun and Bradstreet. Dun and Bradstreet will issue a nine-digit identification number which will need to be included on the supplier questionnaire. Charges will be assessed for this report and the supplier must pay for these charges at the time the report is ordered.
Once you have been accepted by a Wal-Mart buyer you will need to provide a copy of your Certificate of Liability Insurance. If you are accepted then you will need to make certain changes to your Liability Insurance, these changes can be found on the Wal-Mart stores website or you can ask your buyer for more information.
Provide a copy of your Uniform Code Council letter identifying your companies bar code labeling. If you have already been selling your product in retail stores you will already have the letter, but if you have only been selling at street fairs or some small time boutiques then you will need to become a member of the Uniform Code Council in order to obtain a UCC company prefix for your products.
Just because you have followed these steps it does not mean that you will become a supplier for Wal-Mart, but you will never know unless you try. If your application is accepted you will receive further information from a Wal-Mart buyer about what you will need to do next. Be prepared to provide a sample of your product or products for the buyer to look at.