Walmart bringing back iconic brand that solves a major issue

One of the more predictable shopping trends of 2024 is consumers looking for the best deals they can find.

It may seem like an obvious point. As the cost of many goods and services has risen in recent months, so too has our desire to save the dollars we can. 

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This is especially the case in the fashion industry, where cheaper clothes are increasingly easier to come by. 

No longer do shoppers need to spend an entire afternoon hunting through the mall for a good polo shirt, pair of jeans, or formal dress to wear to an event. Affordable  quality fashion is now accessible even from the comfort of our homes, and thanks to many stores’ lenient return and exchange policies, trying on many styles has also never been easier. 

Once popular retailers that teens and adults frequented on a busy weekend, like Express, Forever 21, Macy’s and Gap, are now relics. Many have shuttered hundreds of stores, filed for bankruptcy, or sought rebrands and new ownership. 

Shoppers now are opting for cheaper and easier shopping experiences, which can often be found at off-mall retailers like TJ Maxx, outlet malls, even big-box stores like Target  (TGT)  and Walmart  (WMT) . And yes, online, too.

A Walmart worker hangs clothing in a store.

Image source: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Survival depends on pricing power

Nowadays, it’s incumbent upon retailers not only to stay current with trends — from beauty and cosmetics to hydration and supplements — but also to price goods competitively. 

The Consumer Price Index shows that prices in May increased 0.3% from April. The CPI ticked up 3.3% on a 12-month basis, about 0.1 percentage point less than expectations, indicating that inflation may soon be cooling.

Still, these numbers indicate that many of our goods and services are still pricier than they were last May.

Here’s a look at how the price of several key goods and services changed from April to May:

Food at home: increase 0.1%Energy: decrease 2%New vehicles: decrease 0.5%Used vehicles: increase 0.6%Apparel: decrease 0.3%Medical care commodities: increase 1.3%Shelter: increase 0.4%Transportation services: decrease 0.5%Medical care services: increase 0.3%

And while the U.S. is finally starting to see the costs of some key items decline on a monthly basis, the Labor Department noted it’s not enough to offset all price increases.

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So stores that pivot and react to price fluctuations tend to do better in these environments. Walmart, for example, has embarked on a lofty campaign to bring down food prices to pre-inflation levels. 

It also instituted a nationwide rollback program to reduce the cost of thousands of items across its stores, a move that has been met with consumer enthusiasm and prompted bumper earnings for its most recently reported Q1 earnings.

More stores are offering trends and value

Back in the day, it may have been unfashionable to tell your peers that the cute sundress you’d bought was from Walmart or Target. It was also probably uncommon, since many of these larger corporations were focused more on offering savings on staple items like groceries and baby essentials than on fashion. 

But the times have changed. 

More Walmart:

Walmart raises the price of a key serviceWalmart launches cheap brand customers will loveSome Walmarts make surprising self-checkout change

Now, most of the big-box stores are in on the highly competitive fashion game, with stores like Target offering dozens of in-house brands that often go viral for their fashionability and affordability. 

Walmart, for its part, is deepening its commitment to the ripe market opportunity, saying on Thursday, June 13, that it would relaunch its No Boundaries private label later this summer. 

No Boundaries was known for its popular and affordable styles in the 1990s and early 2000s; and since what’s old is new again, the 30-year-old brand sees an opportunity to cash in on Gen Z styles and trends that are once again popular.

Some of these styles include baggy jeans, oversized t-shirts, sweat sets and plant-based sustainable products that younger generations are particularly vocal about. 

“We are going after this Gen-Z target market in a big way,” Denise Incandela, Walmart’s U.S. executive vice president of fashion, said at a recent conference. She added that the line would be heavily promoted on social media like TikTok and Roblox.

About 80% of the items will retail for $15 or below, and many staples will be just $5, including shirts, dresses, shorts and graphic tees.

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