Report: Wal-Mart to Revamp Apparel Unit, Lay Off Dozens

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New York City Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is set to shake up its sluggish apparel unit by shutting two divisions at its Arkansas headquarters, eliminating dozens of positions and moving dozens more to New York, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Representatives at Wal-Mart were not immediately available for comment. The report, citing an internal statement, said the company would close its product-development and sourcing divisions.

Wal-Mart is aiming to strip excess costs and promote low prices as its core, lower-income shoppers are being squeezed by a deteriorating housing market, higher food and fuel costs and a credit market crunch.

In other news, Wal-Mart is set to announce a partnership with Disney for more than 150 products based on the Disney Channel’s popular series “Hannah Montana.” The show has transformed its star Miley Cyrus, 15, into a real-life pop star.

Wal-Mart plans to offer a line of licensed Hannah Montana goods, from clothing to food, that will target girls ages 6 to 14. The chain will set up in-store “Hannah Montana Shops” in about 750 locations.

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