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Sam’s hunts new food items via San Diego supplier event

More than 100 regional small businesses have lined up to meet with Sam’s Club buyers for a chance to have their products featured in retailer’s clubs around the country.

The San Diego supplier event is taking place at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, Aug. 26-27, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The supplier participants, including several women- and minority-owned businesses, were narrowed down from an application pool of more than 13,000 suppliers, the retailer said Tuesday (Aug. 26).

“Sam’s Club is focused on providing our members with savings, new and surprising products, and regionally-relevant items,” said Shawn Baldwin, senior vice president for grocery merchandise at Sam’s Club. “We’re a retailer with a highly focused offering of products, so while we know we can’t make every participant in the event a supplier, our merchants are ready to find the best products for our members and help the participating small businesses learn by increasing their knowledge of how to work with a big retailer.”

This event aims to engage new suppliers, strengthen relationships with local suppliers, and identify new food and beverage products relevant to Sam’s Club members in the Southwest and Western regions. Predominant themes among participating suppliers include:

• Organic and all-natural snacks and beverages
• Health-conscious grocery
• Local beer, wine and tequila brands
• Specialty sauces, cheeses and meats

“Sam’s Club is proud to be more than a shopping destination – we are a club for our communities,” said Sean Mehranbod, regional general manager for southwest operations. “When Sam’s Club invests in new suppliers locally and regionally, those suppliers hire people to make products, and that creates jobs for small business owners and growth opportunities for their businesses, their families and their communities.”

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The event is sponsored by ECRM, an Ohio-based retail marketing firm and third party retail service provider.

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