Vendor Applicants - Eligibility Requirements

Prior to submitting an application for Wisconsin WIC Vendor authorization, vendors should review the following to verify that they meet the minimum requirements for becoming a WIC Vendor.

Food

  • A retail food vendor that is authorized as a grocery store must have in stock and available for purchase at all times WIC foods in the minimum quantity and variety provided on the Minimum Stock Requirements, P-00371 (PDF, 30 KB) publication.
  • An authorized pharmacy is required to provide proof of the WIC contracted formula, specialty formulas and liquid nutrition products so that they can be easily ordered and  available to participants in a short period of time.  Authorized pharmacies are not required to maintain a minimum stock.
  • Vendors must provide approved WIC foods that are fresh and have not exceeded their "sell by," "best if used by," or other date limiting the sale or use of the food item.
  • Vendors must ensure that the prices of all WIC approved foods are displayed for easy viewing either on the product or on the shelf. The amount charged for foods purchased with WIC may not exceed the amount charged to non-WIC customers for the same foods.
  • All vendor applicants and authorized vendors are required to purchase infant formula solely from suppliers on the Wisconsin Authorized Infant Formula Suppliers, P-40146 (PDF, 13 KB) list maintained by the SWO.
  • NOTE: Stores with infant formula theft problems may keep infant formula in a secure area.  A notice of the location and prices must be posted in the area where the participant would expect to find the formula.  Minimum stock must be maintained at all times.

Operation

  • Business must be located at a fixed and permanent location (no mobile vendors or home deliveries).
  • Each authorized location must maintain regular, established hours of operation. This includes a minimum of two 4-hour blocks of time on each of five days per week. Daily operating hours must be consistent from week to week.
  • Vendors’ prices must remain competitive with other vendors in their peer group.
  • A vendor’s annual revenue from WIC sales may not be greater than 50% of the vendor’s annual revenue from the sale of all food items.
  • A vendor must also be authorized by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Cash Register

Vendors must demonstrate that their cash register system or payment device is WIC Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) capable. This means the vendor equipment and software is able to accurately scan or enter WIC food item Universal Product Code/Price Lookup (UPC/PLU) codes, match them to the Approved Product List (APL), and determine if the WIC food balance in the participant’s account is sufficient to purchase the item and calculate the amount of the transaction.

  • The electronic cash register system, if multi-functional (integrated), must do this while managing WIC and non-WIC items, the sales tax for non-WIC items, and a variety of promotions or discounts, when available.
  • All cashiers must know how to operate the cash register system and must have been trained on how to process WIC transactions.
  • The vendor must allow a participant to request a balance inquiry and print a receipt showing the current food balance available. 
  • The vendor must provide each WIC customer with a cash register receipt, whether or not the customer requests one. The receipt must include the date, the total price, and the price of each item received by the WIC customer and the remaining food items the participant has available.
  • Use of self-checkout lanes must be authorized by the WIC Vendor and Integrity Unit.

General

  • All vendor applicants must have an acceptable history with WIC and other USDA food and nutrition service programs, such as FoodShare (SNAP). In addition, the vendor must demonstrate business integrity. Reference Wisconsin Admin. Code ch 149.05.
  • Owners, officers, members, and employees of an authorized grocery store or pharmacy may not redeem a relative’s or their own WIC benefits. Employees may redeem WIC benefits if the transaction is processed by another, non-relative employee. Stores may be exempt from this rule if there is no other WIC authorized grocery/pharmacy within a 10-mile radius.
  • The store must have a satisfactory inspection and site visit by the state or local WIC project vendor representative. If the store passes the site visit, the owner and/or manager must receive WIC training prior to WIC authorization.
  • A vendor must report business changes to the WIC Vendor & Integrity Unit, at least 15 days prior to a change in: location, ownership, store hours, managers, cash register system, or store name.
Last Revised: November 19, 2018