Walmart U.S. launches "American Idol"-like contest for new products

2/6/2012

In an effort to find the best new products, Walmart in the U.S. has launched a contest similar to the TV show American Idol to find new products.

Any small business, entrepreneur or individual inventor has a shot at winning a spot on its store shelves nationwide and virtual shelf space through walmart.com through its "Get on the shelf" contest.

Contestants can enter any product category that it the retailer has and submit videos of their inventions online.

The public will then vote online for the top three winners at getontheshelf.com and the three will be sold on walmart.com, with the top winner getting the product in Walmart stores in the U.S.

Walmart is known for its strict merchandise selection process, with vendors meeting with in-house buyers at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., in small rooms lining a bluish bluish-gray corridor that's unofficially referred to as "vendor row", according to an article.

Vendors must pitch their products and convince Walmart buyers about why they should stock them.

This contest is seen as a way to remove barriers by giving anyone the chance to launch their product at Walmart.

The retailer officially launched the contest last Wednesday but has been promoting it quietly since last December, receiving more than 60 entries to date.

Entries so far include an iPad pillow from ePillow, Ugg-like boots for pets and a locking device for soda bottles so strangers can’t sneak sips in.

Video pitches will be accepted until Feb. 22, and is only open to U.S. participants.

Ten finalists will be selected between March 7 and April 4.

Wal-Mart said people can submit their video pitches until Feb. 22. The contest is open only to U.S. participants.

The first round of voting will happen between March 7 and April 4 to select 10 finalists; the second round will happen in April to determine the top three winners.

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