Wal-Mart holds contest for inventors to offer their products
Calling all inventors: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants you to parade your stuff.
The nation’s largest retailer is holding a contest, called Get on the Shelf, for a chance to snag a spot on its stores and website for your product.
Think of it as American Idol: Retail Edition
“That’s uncovering the next great singer, this is uncovering the next product,” said Chris Bolte, vice president of @WalmartLabs, the retailer’s social media and e-commerce arm. “This is a way for us to really provide our consumers with a voice on the kind of products that Wal-Mart carries.”
That’s because the contest will be determined by the public, who will vote on videos created by contestants and posted onto https://GetOnTheShelf.com. Aspiring businesses and individuals have until Feb. 22 to upload a clip about their product onto the site. That will be followed by two rounds of voting online by the general public. The first bout, from March 7 to April 4, will winnow the field down to 10 finalists; the second round from April 11 to April 24 will determine three winners.
The grand prize winner will be sold online and at select Wal-Marts around the country, while the other two top vote-getters will be available on Walmart.com.
There are some guidelines: Contestants must own the U.S. rights to the product. The item has to be legal and fall into a category already sold by the retailer (so no aircraft please).
Although Wal-Mart officially announces the contest today, the submissions website has been up and running for a few weeks. Early entries include hot sauce, dog booties and liquid vitamin.
Bolte said a blockbuster product could be sold indefinitely through Wal-Mart.
“If a product does really well and continues to do well -- we have 9,000 stores globally,” Bolte said. “We can see it going out anywhere.”
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