4/08/2005

Wal-Mart Going Upscale?

According to an article I found in the New York Times titled, Wal-Mart is Going Upscale. Well, at Least a Little, says that Wal-Mart is upgrading a lot of its merchandise, while trying to maintain the loyalty of its core customers. Claire Watts, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president for merchandising said that for their new strategy, they will never abandon their core customer, but that they do have 100 million-plus people in their doors weekly and they are trying to reach out. Ms. Watts was quoted as saying “We’ve upgraded some of our fabrics, our linens, our cottons, our silk blends in our sweaters – we’re using a lot of spandex – and we’ve concentrated more on details. At the same time, Ms. Watts said Wal-Mart’s prices for many of these items was still 20 to 30 percent less “than our core competitor.” Do you think Wal-Mart will lose some of their core customers by changing some of their strategy to keep up with Target and Bed Bath and Beyond? Or do you think the demand for their products will continue to grow

7 comments:

heather said...

I think its fantastic that Wal-Mart's new strategy in the clothing department is to incorporate more Spandex. Maybe I'm out of touch, but was Spandex ever a good idea? We'll see what happens.

The way I navigate Wal-Mart is to ignore all central sections and shop along the perimeter. The quality I've observed in their home, clothing, furniture, and jewelry departments are just way below par.

Mack said...

Quality is as important to consider as price. In the areas that they are improving quality I believe that they will win more customers, especially if they can maintain their prices 20 to 30 percent lower then their competitors.

Marie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marie said...

It seems ludicrous to me that Walmart would even try to compete in the field of quality. You don’t go to Walmart ever thinking that you are getting something quality, unless you are from the back hills of the Kentucky (not that there is any thing wrong with that.) I think this could very well be a down slide for the company. They are trying to compete with Target, and everyone knows that Target is better in a more quality image, while Walmart is more cost base within that industry. I think that it is embarrassing, but even more embarrassing if people fall for Walmart as having quality products.

Vincent said...

It looks like Wal-Mart is looking to expand its niche. I don’t know if they can succeed as being both a low-cost provider and a quality retailer, more power to them. But I think they will fail eventually no matter how much they bankroll this new venture. I think Wal-mart should stick with what it does best and then look to international growth opportunities instead of this bad idea

Fred said...

Of course Target is a better overall quality store, that isn't anything too new. But I think that no matter what walmart does, they will continue to thrive because they have low prices, and that is the bottom line.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Keston's post for a grammatical error.

I don't think that lowest prices are what Wal-Mart is all about (otherwise it would just be a dollar store). They are about lower prices for reasonable quality. I don't see a problem with this move at all.

Marie: are you channeling the Seinfeld gang?