Fashion designer Michelle Smith and fitness instructor Stacey Griffith are lending their talent to Walmart Inc. to help roll out the retailer’s new Love & Sports activewear and swimwear line. Citing data from NPD Group, Walmart reports that activewear grew 37% in 2021 and has become an important category for its customers.
“Love & Sports features vibrant, high-performance fabrics and details in a blend of fresh, fashion-forward gym to street styles and trims,” wrote Denise Incandela, EVP of apparel and private brands, in a company blog post. “At its core, it’s an energetic brand inspired by bold, iconic, vintage athletic style that optimizes comfort and durability.”
The line will initially include 121 women’s activewear and swim items ranging from retro running shorts and cropped logo sweatshirts to lightweight nylon jackets and one- and two-piece swimsuits. Prices will be between $12 and $42.
The collection is available at Walmart.com and is rolling out to 1,500 brick-and-mortar stores now, with swimwear arriving in the coming days. Collections will drop seasonally, and footwear and accessories will join the collection this fall.
“As we continue to establish Walmart as a destination for fashion, we remain laser focused on expanding Walmart’s assortment of quality, on-trend apparel and accessories at an incredible value,” wrote Incandela. “That includes strategic collaborations with designers and influencers to bring new collections to our portfolio of exclusive, elevated brands.”
Other retailers are wading deeper into branded fashion. Meijer recently introduced its new Tranquil & True line of intimate apparel that is designed to fit a greater cross-section of women and is part of the retailers’ efforts to carry products that reflect the diverse audience it serves. Publix went slightly more cheeky with its holiday offerings – including a chicken tender sub sandwich hoodie and socks with the company’s logo.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores under 46 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.