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SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- Walmart's digital technology division, @WalmartLabs, launched a unique contest that gives product manufacturers the opportunity to get their product sold on Walmart.com and even in the retailer's stores.
Called "Get on the Shelf," the contest is similar to the popular "American Idol" television show, in that contestants will create videos of their latest inventions and the public will vote online for the winners. Any product in any category currently covered by Walmart is eligible, ranging from housewares and electronics to toys and apparel.
"Walmart has the best products at everyday low prices, but we know there are some great undiscovered products that have not yet reached our shelves," said Venky Harinarayan, senior vice president of Walmart Global e-commerce and co-head of @WalmartLabs "For a long time, the ability to get a product into a retail store was at the sole discretion of the store buyer. Today, we are removing these barriers by giving anyone a chance to launch their product at Walmart and reach millions of shoppers nationwide."
A two-round public voting process will determine the top three products to be sold on Walmart.com. The grand-prize winner's product will be sold on Walmart.com and featured on the site's home page, and also get valuable shelf space in select Walmart stores across the country.
The contest opened with a sneak preview a few weeks ago and already has nearly 60 entries including a new hot sauce, cube game, hair accessory, iPad pillow and paw puffs for dogs.
Contestants can submit an entry video at the Get on the Shelf website until Feb. 22, when the submission round ends. Videos will be screened for appropriateness before they are posted to the site. The first round of voting will take place March 7 through April 4, at which point the top 10 finalists will be announced. The second round of voting will take place April 11-24, at which point the top three contestants and grand-prize winner will be announced.
All voting will happen at the Get on the Shelf website. The contest is only open to participants in the United States. Walmart employees are not eligible for the contest, and products already carried by Walmart or Walmart.com are not eligible for entry.
@WalmartLabs creates platforms, products and businesses around social and mobile commerce to support Walmart's global strategy of seamlessly integrating the shopping experience between brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce.