Is the Walmart / Justice merger the harbinger of more partnerships with retail brands? – RetailWire
Jul 19, 2021
Justice, which closed all 826 of its stores last year in bankruptcy proceedings, made a return to Walmart floors timed to a expected back to school record.
Founded as Limited Too in 1987 and aimed at girls ages 6 to 12, Justice was acquired last November in the bankruptcy of Ascena Retail Group by Bluestar Alliance, which also owns Hurley, Bebe, Tahari and Brookstone. ShopJustice.com relaunched in April.
Walmart becomes Justice’s exclusive fashion retailer with more than 140 items launched in 2,400 stores and Walmart.com. The range includes not only the fashion and accessories the brand was known for, but also jewelry, bedding and bathing, backpacks, stationery, skateboards and tech accessories. Pet shoes and accessories debut in September.
In one blog entryDenise Incandela, executive vice president of apparel and private labels, Walmart US, said the retail giant has added more than 1,000 national fashion brands in recent years. These include the relaunch of the Time and True and Terra & Sky private labels; the launch of “elevated exclusive brands” such as ELOQUII Elements, Free Assembly, Scoop and Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara; and the recent addition of national brands like Reebok, Celebrity Pink and Champion.
“Justice is a popular brand that our customers know and love, and with the back-to-school shopping season underway, this new collection comes at the perfect time for our customers looking to elevate their style,” Ms. Incandela said in a statement. Press release.
Walmart fair launched a Gap Home collection, and many digital native brands have entered physical retail through partnerships with traditional retailers. However, partnerships between national chains are still rare.
Sears grabbed the headlines earlier this year when it opened stores in Lands’ End. When it comes to beauty, Sephora will begin opening counters inside Kohl’s in August after more than a decade of partnering with JC Penney, while a Target / Ulta partnership will begin this fall.
Beyond its deal with Sephora, Kohl’s has forged recent partnerships with Tommy Hilfiger, Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End and Cole Haan as part of a campaign to promote national brands. Walmart’s closest competitors, Target and Amazon, are focusing on private label offerings in clothing, including Target’s surprising decision in 2018 to ditch the successful C9 Champion line.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more retail partnerships in the coming years or is the Walmart / Justice deal a rare case and more emphasis on national brands? Is the justice deal a major win for Walmart?
“Do you see more retail partnerships in the coming years or is the Walmart / Justice deal a rare case and has more emphasis on national brands? “