Blog: Leonie BarrieA new name at Wal-Mart

Leonie Barrie | 23 May 2006

The spectre of Kathie Lee Gifford must continue to haunt Wal-Mart, so it’s a brave move to team up with another well-known name for a new sportswear collection. For those of you who don’t remember, the TV personality and singer put her name to a line of women’s clothing sold by the retailer, only for it to be discovered that some products were manufactured in a Honduran sweatshop employing children. The two names parted company in 2003 amid allegations of sagging sales.

But times have changed, and Wal-Mart has to deploy similar tactics to its main rivals. Setting the pace is Target, which not only sells a line of women's apparel by Isaac Mizrahi but recently introduced an initiative called Go International that sells moderately-priced merchandise from designers such as Luella Bartley for a limited time.

Not to be beaten, Wal-Mart is already upping the fashion focus of its in-store lines, and teaming up a named fashion designer for the first time – award-winning designer Mark Eisen, whose knitwear line presently sells at Bergdorf Goodman and other top-end boutiques – will surely reflect in uplifting sales to existing customers, as well as attracting new ones into its stores.

US: Wal-Mart teams with Mark Eisen for sportswear collection


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