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Wal-Mart Launches New Product Contest

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores has formally launched Get On the Shelf, a new product competition that invites anyone to submit a product idea to the retailer for development.

"Anyone with a great product in any product category that Wal-Mart carries is welcome to participate," a narrator states in a promotional video announcing the campaign. "It doesn't matter if the contestant is big or small."

The competition runs through February 2012, after which time consumers will have a chance to choose the winners. The top three choices will receive support for scaling-up production and marketing assistance from Wal-Mart. The goal is to promote the winners both "on the shelf" in stores, as well as online.

Get On the Shelf is the latest idea coming from WalMartLabs. The retailer's in-house social media think tank is a product of the April 2011 acquisition of data mining firm Kosmix.

Prior to the holiday shopping season, the lab launched two apps that broaden access to Wal-Mart's offerings.

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