Wal-Mart's Customer-Focused Apparel Strategy Gathers Momentum with Launch of New, Exclusive Collection

New “Metro 7™” collection is designed for Wal-Mart’s fashion-conscious customers

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 6 – Wal-Mart announces the debut of its exclusive Metro 7™ collection – a distinct line of women’s apparel designed specifically for the fashion-savvy customer.  The Metro 7 launch is an important step – and the first that involves the creation of a new brand -- in the implementation of Wal-Mart’s comprehensive apparel strategy, which focuses on addressing the diverse needs of the retailer’s broad range of customers.

The Metro 7 brand features styles that are both feminine and contemporary, designed with high-quality fabrics, and versatile enough to allow women to dress fashionably around the clock, seven days a week – at the affordable prices customers expect from Wal-Mart.  The new collection is currently available in misses and plus sizes in select Wal-Mart stores and will be offered online at Walmart.com (www.walmart.com).  The collection will be updated regularly with the latest fashion trends to maintain its distinctive, fashion-forward style.

“Our objective is to know as much as we can about all of our customers, understand their needs, and give them the choice and value they expect from Wal-Mart, in all of our product areas,” said John Fleming, Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer.  “Many of the customers who come to us for low prices and reliability are very interested in fashion, in brand-name electronics, in home trends, in organic foods, and a variety of other things they might not have expected to find at Wal-Mart.  Apparel is an area where we have determined that, by focusing on our customers’ needs, we can offer more of our customers even better choice and value, and an improved shopping experience.  Launching the Metro 7 collection is an important step in that strategy.”

“We want to encourage Wal-Mart customers who don’t usually come to us for apparel to cross the aisle and see what we have to offer,” said Claire Watts, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of apparel and home.  “Fashionable, trend-conscious women represent an important segment of our customer base, and we believe that the Metro 7 collection will meet many of their fashion needs – all while maintaining their trust in Wal-Mart for exceptional value and affordability.  We think our fashion-conscious female customers who want the latest looks at an affordable price will be pleasantly surprised.”

Metro 7 is the first new, exclusive collection that has grown out of the comprehensive apparel strategy that Wal-Mart is implementing on a national scale.  This strategy has involved adopting a more disciplined approach to customer research; opening a New York trend office responsible for identifying fashion trends emerging around the world and integrating them into Wal-Mart’s range of apparel brands; more clearly defining and differentiating the company’s existing brands to help customers make choices; and training a special group of merchandisers to use layout, display, and product selection to improve the shopping experience of apparel customers.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.  

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