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Video: Retail Roundup: Walmart & the $10M Made in USA Innovation Fund

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Walmart just announced the investment of $10M into an innovation fund geared to Made in USA manufacturing and production. How can small businesses take advantage? Watch in this week’s Retail Roundup.

Hi. Welcome to the Retail Roundup. This is Syama Meagher from Scaling Retail. This week I’d like to chat with you about Walmart. Walmart recently announced that they’d be investing $10 million into a fund to help with the resurgence of domestic production here in the United States.

Just last year they listed that they were going to spend over $50 billion buying products, and scaling them from the United States into all of their marketplaces. This is a fantastic thing that we’re hearing. Mostly because in the last few years you might have heard, as a small business, that made in the U.S.A., made in New York, made in Los Angeles, all of these are becoming really hot button issues, in terms of how do we start to redevelop the economy here?

How do we use that from a branding standpoint, and how do we communicate that with our customers in a way that’s meaningful? Even if you are someone who doesn’t necessarily believe in shopping at a Walmart or necessarily their business practices, and you’re a small business, the ways that you can really take advantage of what they’re positioning to do is to look into your manufacturing options.

Look into the companies that you’re currently doing business with, and encourage them to apply for this type of funding. Ultimately, the more funding that we’re able to get and the more money that we can get back into domestic production, the lower your costs are going to be to be able to produce here domestically.

Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about how expensive it is to produce in China. Of course, in terms of not only their poor practices with factories and manufacturing, but of course when ports are closed, now that China is moving a lot of their production offshore… So Africa is becoming a new place for production for China. It’s really hard as a small brand to figure out, “Where should I produce? What’s going to be the most economical, and how can I use that not only financially, but from a branding standpoint?”

Well, initiatives like this Walmart $10 million innovation fund for domestic production are great for you. Primarily if you have, again, factories and brands who you believe in who are currently looking to scale up their operations, especially if they’re looking to maybe hire new staff and find new ways of bringing manufacturing back home. So definitely suggest to your fellow manufacturing counterpart to take a look at something like this.

Now, from a branding standpoint, of course, you’re starting to see “Made in the U.S.A.” tagged all over. I would foresee that in the next six to 18 months you’re going to see more solidified logos and ways of trademarking this. Keep your eyes out for it. The consumer is becoming more educated. They’re starting to look for these things in terms of where it’s been produced, manufactured, and designed. You’re going to start to see some more funding and resources available here domestically to get that done.

All right, hope you have a great weekend. Talk to you soon. Bye.