Walmart is pushing further into apparel, with spring collections for its Free Assembly and Scoop private labels and the launch of Fielder, the first new Bonobos product line in 15 years. The portfolio expansions follow a successful quarter in which the retailer’s apparel business “really stood out,” President and CEO of Walmart U.S. John Furner said during a call with investors.
The Free Assembly and Scoop collections are the first from Brandon Maxwell, a fashion designer and former Project Runway judge who joined the brands as Creative Director in spring 2021. Maxwell is helping Walmart position its private label apparel as simultaneously elevated yet affordable, with items in the spring collection priced from $8 to $75.
“What I liked about coming into Walmart as Creative Director of Free Assembly and Scoop is that both brands are so different from my own brand’s aesthetic,” said Maxwell in a blog post. “For me, this was an exciting challenge, to think not only about the overarching stories and cohesive brand messaging, but to bring each brand to life in its own unique way. I don’t think the aesthetics of the lines have changed, but what I’m bringing to each brand is more cohesion across all categories.”
Both collections were designed to “exude a sense of joy, optimism and color,” but each takes its own approach to achieving this goal. Free Assembly, which includes 500 pieces spanning men’s, women’s and kids’ fashion, was designed so individual pieces could be coordinated together across the whole family. It puts an emphasis on seasonless trends including stripes, gingham, eyelet, spring fleece, color blocking and printed denim.
The new Scoop collection will be “more about bold, vibrant colors and high energy prints” along with an emphasis on denim, according to Maxwell. Scoop aims to be more trend-driven than its family-focused counterpart, but the designs still aim for timelessness.
Bonobos’ new Fielder line is an active lifestyle brand aimed at 18- to 34-year-old men, according to Forbes. The collection includes colorful quick-dry tees, water-repellent fleeces, zip-off pant bottoms and packable jackets with an emphasis on “self-expression.” The items will be available in more than 250 select Walmart stores, as well as at bonobos.com and walmart.com.
“The colors are part of the great escape in thinking about life post-pandemic,” said Adam Serrano, Senior Merchant at Bonobos in an interview with Forbes. “Fielder can co-exist with Bonobos, and those customers can grow into becoming a Bonobos customer.”
Walmart’s overall Q4 2022 results were positive, though the retail giant declined to break out apparel sales growth specifically. Same-store sales rose 6.4% year-over-year, while digital sales grew 11%. The company’s marketplace also has been growing, adding 20,000 new sellers to the U.S. marketplace during the quarter.