For a small manufacturer, a spot on the shelves of Walmart or a pixel packet on Walmart.com can be transformational. That's why there is practically a cottage industry around Bentonville, Ark., just serving the needs of the thousands of would-be vendors who trek to Wal-Mart headquarters there every year in an attempt to lure or cajole one of the company's buyers into taking a flyer on the "next great product."
Walmart wants to make it easier for some of these innovations to make their way onto its product list as well as, perhaps, land some hit merchandise that might never have made it through all the hoops before. So the company's @WalmartLabs R&D unit is launching an initiative to open its doors to great product ideas: Get on the Shelf, a program inviting would-be suppliers small and large to submit product ideas along with supporting videos in a campaign that unfolds in phases through April.
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