Monday, July 23, 2007

Wal-Mart Making More Apparel Moves

Wal-Mart (WMT) said Friday that a high level apparel executive resigned after the transition to more trendy items from low-priced basics failed to do anything for clothing sales. Claire Watts, executive vice president of apparel merchandising, stepped down Thursday to "pursue other interests," said Sarah Clark, a spokeswoman for the world's largest retailer. Yeah, "other interests" like "looking for a new job".

Promoted along with the company's move to relocate clothing operations to NYC was GAP veteran Dottie Mattison, formerly chief merchant for She will oversee women's apparel, jewelry, shoes and accessories as well as product development. Let's honest, even if she only manages to bring the apparel offering at Wal-Mart to average, it will be a huge plus for earnings. As it stands now other retailers like Target (TGT), Macy's (M), Sears Holdings (SHLD) and JC Pennys (JCP) are miles ahead of Wal-Mart.

Many people, including yours truly feel the changes are due to pressure from Allen Questrom has suggested them since joining the board in early June. Questrom was chairman and chief executive of J.C. Penney Co. from 2000 to December 2004. Now, JC Penny has been a great turnaround story so let's let a guy who was there for the genesis of it make some suggestions, like I said before, can they do any worse?

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