The Wal-Mart economy's big winners

For a small business owner, an order from Wal-Mart means access to the 200 million customers who visit each week, plus the chance to grow sales and hire more employees. Meet four lucky owners.

Customer feedback inspired new line

world kitchen walmart suppliers
  • Company: World Kitchen, Rosemont, Ill.
  • What it sells: Kitchen goods like cutlery, glassware, serving dishes

World Kitchen has been around for about 100 years and makes well-known household brands like Pyrex and CorningWare.

Wal-Mart offers not only a big platform for its kitchen goods, but shares the shopping habits and choices made by millions of customers, which helps World Kitchen design its own products better.

For example, Wal-Mart told World Kitchen that its customers were very interested in cookware that could be used for baking as well as storing. World Kitchen made a line that fit those needs, and it flew off Wal-Mart shelves.

"They were very strong sellers because Wal-Mart understands its shopper," said Kris Malkoski, president of World Kitchen North America.

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  @emilyjanefox - Last updated March 19 2013 05:00 PM ET