We all know that you can practically find every product under the sun when you walk into your local Walmart (NYSE:WMT). The average superstore these days carries approximately 142,000 SKUs and the stores’ online channel markets approximately 1,000,000 products. That’s a lot of merchandise.
Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but even Walmart is getting into talent competition with the company’s “Get on the Shelf” contest.” The contest allowed anyone in the United States to submit video online pitches for the next great product for the stores’ shelves.
Move over Simon Cowell, Paula Abul and the current talent judges on American Idol, the product videos will be voted on by the public. Three winners will have their products sold on Walmart.com with the grand winner also getting shelf space at a few select stores. The winner’s will also get help in marketing, production and even logistics. Not bad for those would-be inventors with the next “Sham-wow” or “Snuggie” products.
This is a great opportunity for those trying to break into a mass-market channel. Venky Harinarayan, senior vice president of Walmart Global e-commerce, said in a press release. “For a long time, the ability to get a product into a retail store was at the sole discretion of the store buyer. Today, we are removing these barriers by giving anyone a chance to launch their product at Walmart and reach millions of shoppers nationwide.”
If you’re one of those garage inventors with aspirations to go mass-market with your product, you missed the deadline for submissions – which concluded on February 22nd. However, you can vote up your favorite product video beginning on March 7th. Over 2,800 video we’re submitted and more than 1,300 accepted in the contest.
If this promotion is successful, you’d expect Walmart to repeat the contest. So, get to work and finish tinkering with your great product invention so you’re ready for the next contest.