ORLANDO, FLA. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is looking to boost the number of domestic suppliers as part of its 10-year, $250 billion investment program, according to the retail giant’s head of U.S. manufacturing.
Wal-Mart Vice President Cindi Marsiglio told plastics companies executives during NPE 2015 in Orlando that her company is working with suppliers to bring production back to the United States.
“Two-thirds of what we sell in our 5,000 U.S. stores is sourced here. My team is focused on the other third and bridging that gap.”
Marsiglio said the booming labor market and lower energy costs made the United States a positive market, and the retailer was looking to create 1 million jobs through its investment schedule.
“Eighty-five percent of our customers say that it’s important to them to see products on our shelves that have been assembled or produced in the U.S.”
Wal-Mart had kicked off a program of get-togethers called ‘Open Call’, where it could connect with local suppliers who would pitch what they produced, as well as a series of U.S. Manufacturing Summits, Marsiglio said.
“We want to increase our sourcing in the U.S. and we want more new products to find their way onto our shelves.”
Marsiglio invited plastics manufacturers to the company’s headquarters for its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8. Firms can register for the event on Wal-Mart’s website.
U.S. suppliers should not expect to get more for their products than an overseas company, Marsiglio said.
“Will we pay more for a U.S.-made product? The short answer is ‘no.’ We are a low-cost retailer, but it can be cost effective if you address the supply chain.”
Marsigilio said last year she had spent $4 million of a $10 million grant, awarding funds to firms, including injection molding companies.