Will Walmart become a fashion destination in 2020?
One of Walmart’s big goals for 2020 is to finally become fashionable.
Turning around some of its digital fashion e-commerce brands is up near the top of the list of Walmart’s priorities for the year, according to reporting on Glossy. Many of the moves Walmart has made in the service of improving its apparel offerings can be attributed to the vision of Denise Incandela, head of fashion and U.S. e-commerce for Walmart.com. During Ms. Incandela’s tenure, Walmart has launched exclusive women’s lines in partnership with Ellen DeGeneres and Sofia Vergara. Ronn Torossian of 5WPR stated that in the coming year the chain would be stepping up its e-commerce fashion game.
For the past few years, Walmart has pursued a revamp of its image as it has found itself going head-to-head with Amazon.com. A slew of acquisitions of Millennial-targeted fashion brands (like ModCloth and Moosejaw) and e-commerce startups (like Jet.com) since 2017 began to give the impression of a new Walmart, one not solely associated with stolid suburban big box stores and apparel basics.
Walmart’s launch of its Store No. 8 tech incubation arm, likewise made public a new kind of Silicon Valley energy coming out of the Bentonville-based retailer. Of the innovations Store No. 8 has experimented with, some have been fashion-related and targeted at a luxury customer base far afield of Walmart’s core customer.
Last year, however, developments at Walmart seemed to indicate a pullback from pursuing a new, hipper image. The chain sold off ModCloth, which it had acquired only two years earlier. The Jetblack personal shopping service, an innovation that came out of Store No. 8, was reported to be losing money, costing Walmart $15,000 annually per member, and the chain was looking to spin it off. And Bonobos founder Andy Dunn, who joined Walmart as SVP of digital brands after the retailer acquired the men’s brand in 2017, stepped down, as well.
- How Walmart plans to turn around its fashion business in 2020 – Glossy
- Is Walmart’s Store No. 8 breaking boundaries or bonds with its core customers? – RetailWire
- Andy Dunn’s departure from Walmart indicative of a broader problem – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: After Andy Dunn’s departure, ModCloth’s sale and so on, is Walmart still positioned to establish itself as a destination for fashion? What do you see as the best way for Walmart to accomplish that goal?