On August 14th, Walmart executives joined with state officials to help connect U.S. manufacturers and suppliers with buyers and government resources. This summit is just one facet of Walmart’s strategic plan to increase U.S. made products in their stores by $250 billion dollars over the next ten years. The Boston Consulting Group estimates this commitment will create 1 million jobs.
In July, Walmart invited more than 500 manufacturers and entrepreneurs to their headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas for an “Open Call” event. Visiting businesses had the opportunity to meet with Walmart buyers and pitch their products. Several participants walked away with a sale to Walmart stores.
During the August U.S. Manufacturing Summit, President and CEO of K'NEX Brands and The Rodon Group, Michael Araten, was joined by fellow manufacturing President and CEO of Weber Grills, Jim Stephens for a conversation on what it takes to manufacturer in America and do business with Walmart. Michael Araten describes our company’s commitment to making K’NEX construction toys in the U.S. as “Patriotic Capitalism.” “It started in the depths of the great depression. We wanted to keep jobs here. The only way to save our people was to re-shore manufacturing” stated Araten. “We hoped and believed people would care where products are made. There is no bigger, no better brand than Made in America.”