Gap and Walmart are launching Gap Home, an exclusive home decor brand. It is posted on the big box retailer’s website and eventually sold in stores.
The Gap Home brand will launch on the Walmart website on June 24th and will eventually bring the most popular items to some of the major retail stores. It starts with about 400 pieces of bed linen, bath and decorative accessories. The first collection costs between $ 15.88 for a denim-style pillow and $ 64.98 for a king comforter set.
Financial details and the length of the deal were not disclosed. However, both companies said the brand was the beginning of a long-term partnership. Anthony Soohoo, Walmart’s executive vice president of home, said customers should expect many denim and chambray-inspired collections over the years.
“It’s not a capsule collection,” he said. “It’s a relationship that we believe we want to build that lasts for us.”
With the introduction, Walmart will continue to expand into the home and fashion sectors, generate enthusiasm and potentially attract new customers. The retailer has added more general merchandise to its website, from furniture to clothing, to increase online sales and make e-commerce a profitable business. Walmart’s US e-commerce sales jumped 79% year over year in the past fiscal year as the pandemic pushed more customers online.
Walmart has launched other exclusive own brands, including The Pioneer Woman with celebrity chef Ree Drummond. The retailer has expanded this line beyond cookware to include groceries, clothing, and more.
Soohoo referred to Walmart’s approach with The Pioneer Woman, another exclusive private label developed with celebrity chef Ree Drummond and named after her cookbooks and Food Network show. Having initially started with cookware, the line now includes groceries, clothing and more. He said it has become one of the most popular brands at Walmart and has inspired some customers to move outside of stores when new collections drop.
The retailer also has other private labels in the Home category, including some developed with actress Drew Barrymore and another inspired by Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
The discounter is also ripping off a strategy of its big box rival. aim has gained ground with exclusive brands and collaborations – such as a Temporary collection of household goods With Levi Strauss & Co.. Earlier this year and Hearth & Home, a brand developed with Magnolia, the company owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines.
With strong sales throughout the pandemic, Walmart and Target are the new twist on department stores with a mix of goods, but in convenient locations outside the mall.
Meanwhile, Gap is working to win back buyers and sales after taking a hit during the pandemic. Even before the health crisis, it struggled to remain relevant to many consumers. The Gap label of the same name and the Banana Republic brand have been weak spots, while the inexpensive Old Navy banner and booming Athleta business, selling training equipment for women, has seen growth. We hope to find the right mix of stores for all brands that will lead to sales growth in the years to come.
For fiscal 2021, Gap is forecasting an increase in net sales in mid-to-senior teens versus 2020. The retailer will be reporting profits on Thursday after the bell.
Mark Breitbard, CEO of Gap’s global operations, said the retailer was looking for new ways to capitalize on its brand through its licensing agency IMG. For Gap, the deal gives the company a more predictable source of revenue and puts its brand in front of new customers who may never have shopped in stores before, he said.
Gap and Walmart started serious discussions about the private label in December.
“It felt like it could be a super interesting partnership for us and that’s how the talks began,” said Breitbard. “And they’ve just gained momentum and now two strong American brands are working together.”
The retailers will jointly promote the brand, but Walmart will distribute it. Both customer groups receive emails about the start. Gap’s website highlights some of its own-brand items and directs shoppers to Walmart’s website.
Breitbard said Gap could also place some goods in select Gap stores. In the future, Gap may license its brand to other retail partners in categories outside of apparel and home.
“We’re moving from a strictly vertical retailer selling clothing,” he said.