US: Wal-Mart to restructure apparel unit
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, is to revamp its struggling apparel unit in an attempt to make sure its styles are more in tune with its shoppers and enhance speed to market.
The restructuring will involve organising its apparel business around two 'hubs' which will focus on brand merchandising and buying.
In a statement sent to just-style, John Fleming, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Wal-Mart, said the restructured apparel organisation will be "built around brands that make clear statements and whose teams are accountable for financial returns."
He added that the teams will fully leverage suppliers "to efficiently deliver the product the customer wants."
Under the new set-up the brand merchandising operation will move to New York, where Wal-Mart has an apparel unit in Manhattan, and the buying operation will be based near the company's head office in Bentonville.
The brand merchandising team will be responsible for maximising the financial performance of private label brands.
This will involve developing brand-right assortments and overseeing brand positioning, assortment development, textile design, vendor selection, sampling and cost negotiation.
The buying team, meanwhile, will be responsible for maximising space productivity.
They will select products, both from brand merchandising and from national suppliers, and set pricing and in-store allocation in conjunction with their planning and replenishment partners.
Although Fleming didn't confirm media reports which say the moves will involve the closure of Wal-Mart's product development and sourcing divisions, and eliminate dozens of positions, he said the retailer is "doing all we can to look after our associates as we move to the new structure."
Attempts by the retail giant to revamp its clothing business have so far met with a mixed reception.
More sophisticated and higher-priced fashions - like Metro 7 and George ME by designer Mark Eisen - suffered a series of embarrassing mishaps after the retailer was also forced to scale-back the rollout of some lines.
And Claire Watts, the executive who oversaw Wal-Mart's apparel category, resigned in July.
Wal-Mart is now pursuing more basic styles and prices, and last summer signed an exclusive direct-to-retail license agreement with Iconix Brand Group for apparel and accessories under its Ocean Pacific and OP brands.
Help test our new apparel sourcing tool.
Bangladesh's clothing and ready-made garment sector is undergoing unprecedented expansion, registering an average growth of 20% year-on-year, and has plans to be one of the top three exporters globall...
Supermarket retailers including Carrefour, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, and Wal-Mart are facing new allegations of workers' rights violations in their supply chains....
January same-store sales at Wal-Mart Stores exceeded expectations as customers continued to flock to its stores in search of bargains....
The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe chains' January 2009 sales results. The list will be updated as new results become available....
Supermarket group Asda has introduced a range of jeans under its Geroge clothing brand which are available in mid-sizes 11, 13 and 15....
Supermarket chain Asda has announced that it will be creating 7,000 jobs in the UK during 2009....
Shares in German retailer Arcandor jumped in morning trade today (28 January) after rumours surfaced that US retail giant Wal-Mart is preparing to buy a stake in the group....
The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe chains' December 2008 sales results. The list will be updated as new results become available....
- Unlocks for the future fashion sourcing landscape
- EU eyes mandatory due diligence for apparel supply
- Geo-political uncertainty and how to survive it
- What TTIP might mean for US, EU textiles & apparel
- Where next for Corporate Human Rights Benchmark?
- Li & Fung forms supply chain partnership with PVH
- US Q4 in brief – Finish Line, Oxford Industries
- Sears has "substantial doubt" of future
- Adidas mulls roll-out of in-store customisation
- World Bank commits $57bn to sub-Saharan Africa
- Central and East Europe Report Package
- Central America strategic sourcing review - a focus on Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective