Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has decided to expand its fashion division by creating a new casual clothing line called Free Assembly for both men and women. The label is set to launch this week online and in stores, aimed at fashionable customers seeking an accessible price.
The multinational retail corporation had previously tried its luck in the fashion world several times. From acquiring brands like Bonobos to teaming up with celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Sofia Vergara, Walmart has definitely had some experience. Recently the retailer collaborated with ThredUp, a second hand clothing, shoes and accessories seller, in order to provide it with more high end brands.
As the coronavirus pandemic surges, many big name retailers have experienced an economic downturn resulting in the furlough of thousands of workers. Among them are J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Kohl’s. According to McKinsey & Co., apparel revenue is anticipated to fall 20% to 30% throughout the year and about 10% to 25% during 2021 in comparison to the previous year.
However stores such as Walmart and Target are anticipated to experience revenue growth of 10% to 20% this year in comparison to 2019 according to Althea Peng, who leads McKinsey’s apparel fashion and luxury work in the Americas. Peng explained that they are acquiring those shares from department stores, retailers and malls.
“Consumers are really valuing the convenience of a one-stop-shop,” Peng said. “They are making some of their apparel purchases at the same time that they’re going to pick up the essential items.”