Wal-Mart's Latest Fashion Fail Proves Again That It's No Target

Wal-Mart's Latest Fashion Fail Proves Again That It's No Target For years, Walmart (WMT) has been out to prove it could provide some substance for stylish wardrobes, but the idea of Walmart exuding much, if any, fashion sense elicited more than a few smirks from cynics. Now we know that Walmart's high hopes to emulate Target's (TGT) "cheap chic" reputation have failed. It's shutting down its Manhattan apparel office and sending it back to home base in Bentonville, Ark.

Walmart has a significant timeline of failed attempts to woo cheapskate fashionistas. For example, five years ago, it launched a fashion line called Metro 7 and even shelled out to advertise it in high-fashion Vogue. More recently, Walmart offered labels with celebrity clout like Norma Kamali, Miley Cyrus, and Max Azria, to no avail.

As far as fashion sense goes, over the years Target has regularly outdone Walmart. It has a long history of convincing well-known designers to slap their names on its reasonably priced wares. Isaac Mizrahi was an early Target partner and stayed hooked up with the retailer for five years before moving on to a gig at Liz Claiborne (LIZ). More recently, the limited-edition Missoni for Target line was so popular it not only resulted in sell-out crowds at stores but also crashed Target's website.

In the last year, Walmart has been paring down its apparel offerings to focus on staples like jeans, socks, and underwear. Such offerings do not inspire much additional excited spending from customers, and certainly don't foster the kind of enthusiasm that crashes websites.

Walmart has been struggling mightily to boost its U.S. sales, and clearly that isn't going to come to pass through feeble attempts at affordable high fashion or socks and skivvies. Whether Walmart's going to have some better ideas coming down the runway remains to be seen.

Motley Fool analyst Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walmart Stores. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walmart Stores. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Walmart Stores.



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annyperl

Well, for me Walmart is quite suitable store, although I'm not always satisfied with its services. Though, like many other customers ( http://www.pissedconsumer.com/consumer-reviews/stores.html). Nevertheless, this store really helps me to save money

November 10 2011 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
old58man484

At least WalMart is an American owned company which Target is not

November 02 2011 at 1:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to old58man484's comment
Scotty143124

Don't tell me you think it's french because of the name.

Only a total idiot supports a company (crapmart) that has exported entire industries to communist China.

November 02 2011 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg

I'm not a huge fan of Walmart, but I do shop there and I shop carefully and only for the very best prices.

When you're shopping on a very tight budget, when you can barely feed your family, fashion isn't a concern, shouldn't be, and Walmart if anyone should know that.

November 01 2011 at 8:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Greg's comment
Scotty143124

Guess what Greg, the reason you are forced to look at bottom dollar prices is because of companies like walmart exporting Jobs to other countries.

However, the blame is not on them alone. In the pursuit of cheap and nasty, many poor and middle-Americans have exported their own job overseas.

November 02 2011 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

Wallmart has cheap looking clothes ....................so does Target.

November 01 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
docmetcalf1955

what?!? people actually shop at target? aisle after aisle of cheap tacky trash....

November 01 2011 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to docmetcalf1955's comment
Scotty143124

Target SuperCenters are 1,000 times better and cleaner (sanitary) than the best Walmart.

Going to walmart and looking at the pathetic state of so many Americans is depressing.

November 02 2011 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beth

With all the "People of Walmart" photos abound, does this surprise anyone??

November 01 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Lee

Most working Americans aren't worried about fasion anyway.

November 01 2011 at 2:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Lee

More union backed anti Wal mart propaganda!

November 01 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
stag01987

I used to buy most of my clothes at Walmart, but they just fall apart so fast after purchase. I generally go for quality over style and quantity. For all of their stuff being foreign made, it's still over priced for the crappy quality. Nowadays I buy all of my shirts and jeans that are 100% American made, and they happen to be union made at the same price and quality as Carharrt clothes made in Mexico where they still pay slave wages. I have to go to online retailers to find American made, but it's worth it.

November 01 2011 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toddisit

Target is trying to get into the grocery business and I see NOBODY in the grocery aisles everytime I walk in there. These businesses should stick to their niche instead of getting greedy, but that's America.

November 01 2011 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply