Blog: Leonie BarrieWal-Mart's fashon mis-steps

Leonie Barrie | 25 October 2006

Wal-Mart’s plans to take its clothing lines more upmarket – and attract new customers along the way – seem to have backfired. Saying it expects to post a rise of just 1% rise in October same-store sales, the discount retailer now acknowledges it must refocus on basic clothing items after putting too much emphasis on higher-priced fashions. As chief executive H Lee Scott Jr told analysts on Monday: “That’s not where the money is going to be made.”

So why on earth did executives embark on this strategy in the first place? The idea at the time was to try to lure a broader range of shoppers into the stores, not just those who were in search of rock-bottom prices on home goods and foods but also those who could be persuaded to pay a little bit more to be at the cutting edge of fashion. It was also an attempt to see off competitors who are either treading on Wal-Mart’s toes in the basics business or seeing soaring sales of their trendy bargains.

But it now seems the company “moved too far too fast” with its fashionable clothing lines like Metro 7, intimidating its regular customers who were more comfortable with its fashion basics like jeans and T-shirts. Opening a New York trend-spotting office and even sending Wal-Mart clothes down the catwalk at Fashion Week seems to have had little impact on its target audience. “We need to remember who we are,” Scott added – and it may well be that by forgetting its roots the retailer has simply ended up alienating and confusing its core customers.


BLOG

A new re:source from just-style

Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...

BLOG

Trump's trade ramifications continue to unravel

Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....

BLOG

What's in store following Trump's election?

One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....

BLOG

Political shadow over apparel supply chain

As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?