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Walmart Opens Its Shelves to Entrepreneurs

Walmart Opens Its Shelves to Entrepreneurs

Walmart is taking a page from the hit TV show “American Idol” to discover new stars for its shelves and website. The world’s largest retailer has launched a “Get on the Shelf” contest to find the next new thing to stock on its shelves. Eligible products can be in any category covered by Walmart, ranging from house wares and electronics to toys and apparel.

The nationwide contest asks contestants to create videos of their latest creations and submit them online at GetontheShelf.com, where the public can vote to select the winners. There will be three winners picked to be sold on Walmart.com, with the grand prize winner being featured on the site's home page and stocked in select Walmart stores across the country.

Winners will also receive marketing support and advice on how to scale up. Contest winners will be announced April 24.

The contest opened with a sneak preview a few weeks ago and already has more than 60 entries, including a new hot sauce, cube game, fishing pole holder, hair accessory, iPad pillow and paw puffs for dogs, from individuals across the country.

"We know there are some great undiscovered products that have not yet reached our shelves," said Venky Harinarayan, senior vice president of Walmart Global e-commerce and co-head of @WalmartLabs, which creates platforms, products and businesses around social and mobile commerce. "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."