Walmart Introduces A Fashion Brand Named Free Assembly

Walmart recently acquired its minor stake of a 7.5% stake in TikTok, a video sharing app. The company’s move to invest in the digital platform will undoubtedly help them to expand their digital footprint. Now, it is looking forward to expanding its fashion offerings.

The company has introduced Free Assembly, a modern fashion brand, which is expected to go live for the sale this week. As of now, the brand will have a 55-piece collection (30 items for women and 25 for men) from the price range between USD 9 and USD 45. It will be also available in 250 Walmart stores.

In the blog post, the company reveals that it wants to offer high-quality clothes at low prices. This includes a USD 45 structured blazer for USD 40 and fishtail parka for USD 40. It also added that some of the items are made up of organic cotton. The clothes at Free Assembly are designed by Dwight Fenton, a former chief creative officer at Bonobos.

The company had always been striving to improve its fashion credentials. Walmart acquired prominent brands such as menswear retailer Bonobos and had struck deal with the secondhand seller of apparel, Thredup. Now, the retailer is going to launch Free Assembly, a private label for men’s and women’s clothing. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that the company is striving to grow the sales of clothing and make it profitable.

Walmart also has various fashion brands under its umbrella that target various types of consumers. For instance, Eloquii Elements, a plus-sized women brand which it acquired in 2018. In the same year, the company partnered with Ellen DeGeneres for EV1. It featured denim jeans, graphic t-shirts, and sneakers for USD 30. Furthermore, it had announced four fashion lines: Wonder Nation for Kids, George for Men, Time and Tru for women, and plus-sized Terra & Sky.

Denise Incandela, the woman who leads the fashion division at Walmart, says that the Free Assembly is “a versatile brand.” She adds that “We believe very much in these elevated brands at these price points and are excited to expand our assortment for our customer who has responded very well to them.” Other U.S. retailers such as Target and Costco are also boosting their fashion portfolio by providing low-cost priced clothes.

Amidst the coronavirus crisis, various fashion brands were forced to close their stores while some of them declared bankruptcy. According to the data from McKinsey and Company, the apparel revenue has dropped 20% to 30% this year. Althea Peng, who leads McKinsey’s apparel fashion and luxury work in the U.S., says that retailers such as Walmart and Target are expected to see an increase in their apparel revenue by over 10% to 20% this year. She added that consumers’ buying patterns have also witnessed a makeover. Currently, people are preferring “Work from Home” to add in their wardrobe. Besides, clothes being comfortable they want unique designs to avoid the monotony.

In May 2020, the company said in the earnings call that its e-commerce sales have escalated by 74% while its offline store sales witnessed a growth of 10% in the first quarter. While most of the companies were laying off its employees, Walmart hired more than 200,000 employees to create a hygienic environment and fulfill online stores.