US: Hanesbrands inks plus-size deal with Walmart
US retail giant Walmart is doubling the space in its stores given over to Hanesbrands' plus-sized apparel line JMS Just My Size, in a move that coincides with the launch of its new collection and could help reverse a long-time sales decline.
Under the deal announced yesterday (15 October), JMS will become the dedicated plus-size apparel brand at Walmart and will feature in more than 3,500 stores across the US.
The line focuses on trend-right styles in sizes 16-28, all priced below $22, and promises the delivery of new collections every month. Modern knit sweaters and leggings, classic matte satin blouses and dress pants are all included in the line-up.
"So often plus-size women see stylish clothes in the Missy department that they can't find in the plus-size department," says Maria Teza, marketing director for JMS. "Now she can find those same styles in just her size."
As a dedicated plus-size brand, the JMS clothing line features flattering fit solutions like slimming seams, strategically placed pockets, freedom of movement, and right-weight materials.
"Our value prices mean that, instead of buying just a few key pieces, she can now buy an entire wardrobe," adds Janet Freedman, JMS creative director and plus-size shopper.
The deal is good news for Hanesbrands, which has not only been hit by cutbacks in consumer spending, but has also seen many of its retail customers go out of business (like Mervyn's) or tighten their inventories in the economic downturn.
In August it posted a 46% in second quarter profit as sales fell 8% to $986.0m, but noted the rate of sales decline was lower than in previous months, margins are better, and retailers are finally showing signs of more robust ordering.
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