Victor Lund on NPR Today

If you have known me for a long time, you know that I owned a manufacturing company that made cookie cutters. The company was called WOW - for Wild Opportunities Worldwide and our product was the Wondermaker Cookie Cutter. It was not just any cookie cutter.

Sugar cookies are part of the magic of Christmas in America. If you close your eyes you probably have a memory of making cookies with your mom or grandmother. You can remember the sparkles you used as decoration, and the famous royal icing that you made in blue, white, and red. If you are really good, you can take a deep breath and bring back the smell.

The history of WOW was reactionary. My wife worked for a company that had sales people who were making huge incomes by taking orders at Walmart and other mass chains. They really did not do much selling. The brand and the products sold themselves (in my belief). To prove this point, I built a company and went to see buyers at Walmart. Not only Walmart, but Target, Kmart, and dozens of other outlets. We even built an eCommerce site and did a huge business with catalog companies. I proved my point, but it was not easy. Compliance with vendor requirements at Walmart and other mass merchants are significant, and the penalties loom large for anyone that fails to meet the requirements. I am not sure, but I believe that they fine a vendor $10,000 if the UPC code does not scan, and they send all the product back at your cost and you must pay them retail for the products. If you are lucky, they will reorder. In other words, don't screw up.

I wound up selling the company to another business who could not get a vendor number at Walmart - the vendor number was worth more than the company.

The National Small Business Associaton and National Public Radio did a segment on small businesses working with Walmart. I was interviewed for that segment. Have a listen!


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