Apparel insights on tap next week

A rededication to the basics business has Walmart’s apparel business heading in the right direction and next week, Andy Barron, EVP of softlines, will elaborate on the turnaround and winning with the Walmart customer.

Walmart’s fourth quarter softline sales increased in the low single digits and capped off the first full year of positive comp sales in the category in seven years, according to the company. In large part, the results were achieved after Walmart quit trying to be something it wasn’t and refocused the apparel business on basics and fashion basics rather than trendier goods that didn’t resonate with core shoppers.

Barron is expected to put a finer point on the strategy when he speaks next Thursday, April 18 at 7 a.m. at a Doing Business in Bentonville (DBB) event. Barron will discuss how suppliers can win with the Walmart customer and share insights and perspective on the softlines categories he oversees including apparel and home.

Barron joined Walmart in 1993 and served in many merchandising roles, including menswear and intimate apparel, automotive, toys, home entertainment and hardlines. He was promoted to SVP and GMM in 2004 over hardlines and in 2009 was named SVP of merchandise execution.

For more details on Barron’s presentation or other upcoming DBB events, including Sam’s Club SVP Michael Heintzman on May 16, click here.

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