Today Walmart announced the launch of Get on the Shelf, the first contest of its kind from a major retailer. Beginning today, anyone can enter Get on the Shelf for the chance to get their product sold on Walmart.com and even in Walmart stores.

Any product in any category currently covered by Walmart is eligible (ranging from housewares and electronics to toys and apparel).

The nationwide contest is the latest announcement from @WalmartLabs which is a business unit based in the heart of Silicon Valley and who’s goal it is to create platforms, products and businesses around social and mobile commerce to support Walmart’s global strategy of seamlessly integrating the shopping experience between brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce.

I know that elevator pitch is a mouthful so, for more information on @WalmartLabs go check them out at www.walmartlabs.com.

How the contest works…

Similar to American Idol (which just kicked off an new season tonight…coincidence ???)…contestants will create videos of their latest inventions and the public will vote online for the winners.

A two-round public voting process will determine the top three products to be sold on Walmart.com. The Grand Prize winner’s product will be sold on Walmart.com and featured on the site’s home page, and also get valuable shelf space in select Walmart stores across the country.

“Walmart has the best products at everyday low prices but we know there are some great undiscovered products that have not yet reached our shelves,” said Venky Harinarayan, senior vice president of Walmart Global e-commerce and co-head of @WalmartLabs. “For a long time, the ability to get a product into a retail store was at the sole discretion of the store buyer. Today, we are removing these barriers by giving anyone a chance to launch their product at Walmart and reach millions of shoppers nationwide.”

The contest opened with a sneak preview a few weeks ago and already has nearly 60 entries including a new hot sauce, cube game, hair accessory, iPad pillow and paw puffs for dogs from individuals across the country.

Contestants can submit an entry video at http://GetOnTheShelf.com until February 22 when the submission round ends. Videos will be screened for appropriateness before posting them to the site. The first round of voting will take place March 7th through April 4th at which point the top 10 finalists will be announced. The second round of voting will take place April 11th – April 24, at which point the top three contestants and grand prize winner will be announced.

All voting will happen at http://getontheshelf.com. The contest is only open to participants in the United States. Walmart employees are not eligible for the contest. Products already carried by Walmart or Walmart.com are not eligible for entry.

For more information, rules and an introductory video about Get on the Shelf, visit http://getontheshelf.com.

Hey – if you submit something let us know so we can feature you here on INFOtainment News.