Timeline: A brief history of Walmart's journey into fashion retail
As supermarket fashion continues to grow in the economy, it's interesting to see how giant retail companies have fared in business. Target, Walmart, and even Amazon have all become major players in terms of shopping, although not necessarily in terms of fashion. With more of an emphasis on retail, FashionUnited delves into one of the world's largest companies and its focus on fashion: Walmart.
According to Forbes, Walmart is number one in terms of sales with a total of 221.1 billion dollars in revenue, as of May 2017. Nearly a year later, it's no secret that the market has continued to stay afloat in our economy. In addition to becoming the top business for everyday essentials, Walmart has taken an interest in expanding its fashion lines recently. After the company launched its first store in 1962 by founder Sam Walton, Walmart singlehandedly changed the face of retail through its discounted products. Continuing forward in 1967, Walmart had already expanded to 24 stores with approximately 12.7 million dollars in sales.
The company went public in 1970 and continued to grow through offering low prices and customer service. Because of its growth, Walmart became a publicly traded company with stocks sold at 16.50 dollars per share. By 1980, Walmart would reach 1 billion dollars in annual sales, out-competing any other business at that time. With the company's huge success in all areas, it seemed only natural that the supermarket would move towards another niche in the economy: fashion.
Walmart's history from retail to introducing in-house fashion lines
Slowly but surely, Walmart started to introduce fashion lines throughout its chain stores. In 2017; Walmart acquired Moosejaw, ModCloth, Bonobos, and Parcel. Starting this year, the company introduced four new apparel private brands for women, men, and kids. The lines include Time and Tru, Terra & Sky, Wonder Nation, and George. Time and Tru launched this February as an inclusive size range line (offering sizes from XS-XXXL) including stylish, versatile basics. With a feminine fit, a focused color palette, and embellishment details, the line ensures each customers will find their perfect fit.
Additionally, Walmart introduced Terra & Sky as a plus size women's line. Introducing effortless style, the line is available in sizes 14W to 30W including ultra-soft fabrics and well-made apparel. Focusing on comfort as well as style on-the-go, Terra & Sky offers a range of basics as well as trendy, easy-to-wear styles. Walmart also took an interest in kid's clothing by launching Wonder Nation; focusing on fun, durable styles for children. The brand is available in sizes 4-18 with over 700 styles that fit both the comfort and style of kids today.
Lastly, Walmart incorporated George as a brand exclusively for men. Encompassing style and comfort, the size range is from S-XXXL. The line has wicking properties, wrinkle resistance, and softer fabrics for all day, functional wear. Introduced by George Davies, an English designer, the label focuses on men's quality style.
These brand launches are one way for the supermarket to stay ahead of its competitors. Recently, Amazon has also taken an interest in retail by acquiring Shopbop years ago and by launching in-house labels in 2016, according to Slate.com. Target also has various fashion brands at its stores including Who What Wear, Ava & Viv, Mossimo, and more. By Walmart launching four new brands catered to these specific demographics, the supercenter may have an upper edge in terms of fashion success.