September 21, 2005

Getting Into Wal-Mart

Via Ad Jab, we see how hard it can be for vendors to get on Wal-Mart's shelves:

Getting into Wal-Mart is an entrepreneur's equivalent of making it to Broadway. Even a short run on the shelves there can help transform an invention from niche product to household name. And while Wal-Mart certainly isn't the only retail path to commercial success, nor the right outlet for every product, for mass-market merchandise at a certain price point no other bricks-and-mortar retailer reaches so many shoppers. Today the company has 5,300 outlets world-wide, and gets more than 138 million customers a week.

But as with Broadway, there's more than enough talent to fill the stage. Last year about 10,000 new suppliers applied to become Wal-Mart vendors. Of those, only about 200, or 2%, were ultimately accepted. "We just don't have very many empty shelf spaces," says Excell La Fayette Jr., Wal-Mart's director of supplier development.

It takes 6 months to a year to become a new Wal-Mart supplier with a purchase order; is that a strength or a weakness for WM?

Posted by Kevin on September, 21 2005 at 03:44 PM