BENTONVILLE, Ark. (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) has partnered with manufacturer database operator ThomasNet to help its vendors find U.S. suppliers to manufacture their products, the companies said on Wednesday.
The move is part of the world's largest retailer's plan to sell $250 billion worth of U.S.-made goods by 2023.
Wal-Mart has said the lack of U.S. supplier infrastructure, much of which has shifted overseas to lower-cost markets like China, is a significant obstacle for some of its vendors as they shift production back to the United States.
ThomasNet, which runs a database of more than 500,000 suppliers, has produced a "corporate edition" exclusively for Wal-Mart vendors. ThomasNet Vice President Tom Greco said this should make it easier for them to connect with suppliers.
As part of the new version for Wal-Mart, ThomasNet has assembled a customer service team to follow up with suppliers when vendors put out bids for goods, Greco said.
"A lot of small suppliers are afraid to do business with large companies because of all the hurdles they have to overcome to do so," Greco said. "This should help bridge the gap."
Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn