45 Puerto Rican entrepreneurs to sell their goods at Walmart Puerto Rico stores
Forty-five new suppliers, including 12 women-led companies, will have the opportunity to sell their goods at Walmart Puerto Rico’s stores, after successfully participating in third edition of the “Open Call Puerto Rico” program, which seeks to support the growth of entrepreneurs who harvest or manufacture products locally.
“We continue to strongly promote Puerto Rican companies and continue to expand the annual purchase of local products to achieve our commitment to increase this investment by $20 million by 2023,” said Viviana Mercado, senior manager of Corporate Affairs at Walmart Puerto Rico.
Currently, more than 80% of the merchandise sold in the stores of Walmart, Supermercados Amigo and Sam’s Club on the island is harvested, manufactured, made or distributed in Puerto Rico, which represents an annual investment of approximately more than $1.6 billion, she said.
In addition to the 45 new local suppliers that will start to do business with the stores on the island, as a result of the Open Call Puerto Rico, two of the local suppliers that already have a business relationship with the company will export their products to stores in the U.S. mainland,
These companies are: Antenas del Caribe, which will export its products to stores in Florida, Texas and California; and Bettina Cosmetics, which will continue its expansion in the chain in the U.S. mainland with the introduction of a skin care product.
“We’re proud that our suppliers are growing and that their products are successful in our stores. We’ll continue working closely with them to provide all the support they need,” said Jenniffer Garland, director of merchandising at Walmart Puerto Rico.
She added that another benefit that Walmart offers to local suppliers is that their products and services will be identified with the “Hecho Aquí, para ti” (“Made Here, for you”) seal, exclusive of the chain to promote their consumption among customers.
In addition, as a sponsor of the Puerto Rico Products Association, Walmart encourages its local suppliers to become members of this entity so they can also identify their products and services with the “Made in Puerto Rico” seal.
Among the assortment of goods presented by local entrepreneurs who participated in the Open Call Puerto Rico this year are: drinks and liquors; coffee; desserts; fresh cuts; chemical products; personal care creams; books and surgical masks, some of which will be sold under the chain’s “Marketside” and “Great Value” private labels.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges and we continue steadily in our efforts to continue supporting local entrepreneurs to contribute to the socioeconomic development and well-being of the communities in Puerto Rico through the creation and retention of jobs and the promotion of commercial activity,” said Mercado, saying this year’s Open Call was held virtually to prevent contagion.