Wal-Mart Adds Capsule Collection by Mark Eisen

 

BENTONVILLE, AR. May 22, 2006 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced today that award-winning sportswear designer Mark Eisen will design an encapsulated sportswear collection to complement the highly successful GEORGE™ ladies assortment. Named
GEORGE ME (em-ee) by Mark Eisen, the collection will feature tops, bottoms, jackets, and knits, available in misses and plus sizes.  The collection will make its debut at Wal-Mart stores nationally and online at Walmart.com ( www.walmart.com) in mid August for Fall 2006.

Launched 16 years ago in the United Kingdom, GEORGE brand apparel offers quality, style and value for the whole family and has enjoyed strong growth in the UK at Wal-Mart’s ASDA subsidiary. The brand’s growth has been fueled by design credibility at amazing prices, understanding the customer, and regular infusions of fresh and interesting new looks.  With this exciting new collection in the U.S. market, Wal-Mart now aims to enhance the brand’s appeal to U.S. customers with pieces featuring Eisen’s all-American design aesthetic.  

“The GEORGE line represents fashion for value around the world,” said Claire Watts, executive vice president of product development, apparel and home merchandising for the Wal-Mart Stores Division. “GEORGE ME will be especially appealing to the value-driven shopper who wants versatile pieces that stand the test of time.

“Mark Eisen’s designs bring a modern twist to classic American style,” Watts continued. “His looks for the GEORGE ME collection marry newness, great fabrics, fine tailoring and value.  Our customer wants the fabulous fit Mark Eisen is known for, and we think she will turn to GEORGE ME each season as she updates her wardrobe.”

Mark Eisen added, “This is an incredible opportunity. The idea of bringing a sampling of my
vision, taste and style for women’s design to the largest shopping audience in the world is truly
exciting.”

The addition of GEORGE ME exemplifies the exciting new direction Wal-Mart is taking with its fashion brands. The retailer continues to strengthen its brand portfolio as part of its comprehensive apparel strategy.  Key apparel initiatives include:

• Adopting a more disciplined approach to customer research
• Operating 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
• Clearly defining and differentiating the company’s existing brands to help customers make choices
• Creating new lines to address gaps in the company’s brand geography
• Training a special group of merchandisers to use layout, display and product selection to improve the shopping experience.


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States.  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.

International and award-winning designer Mark Eisen launched his eponymous line in 1988 to great critical acclaim. In 1993, this collection made its first runway debut during New York Fashion Week at 7th on Sixth. Available in more than 800 retail stores internationally through 2001, the Mark Eisen brand included Studio Mark Eisen and a knitwear line, Urchin Mark Eisen. After serving as senior vice president of design for Ann Taylor from 2002-2003, Mark Eisen launched a custom made-to-order collection for his devoted private clientele. In 2005,  Karoo Mark Eisen, a cashmere knitwear collection, was launched and is currently sold in specialty boutiques and department stores internationally including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Selfridges among others. A longtime member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Mark Eisen has been honored with multiple awards during his design career including two American Achievement Awards from the Secretary of Commerce.

#  #  #