Sunday, May 27, 2007

Oops! They Did It Again!

WalMart has made another fashion faux pas.

The kind of error that they are making has two important prongs. The first is that the buyers (or concept creators) are conflating "upscale" and "trendy". There are clothes that are upscale. There are clothes that are trendy. Those two sets only overlap in a small area. The second mistake is that WalMart misidentifies the activities for which its customer base buys clothing.

WalMart needs club clothing in its stores like a hole in the head.
Your average "upscale" individual doesn't spend a lot of time lurking in clubs.
Your average WalMart shopper does not lurk in clubs, either.

And it is beyond imagining that Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, women who actually do inhabit clubs, would suddenly be possessed with the need to go see if WalMart has club wear.

Wal Mart shoppers want things to wear during leisure and work activities. Your WalMart shopper likely goes to ball games, amusement parks, movies, bowling alleys; barbecues and picnics; swim outings and camping. These are "regular American" pastimes. I say this with no mockery at all. These activities are fun, and they are things that cut across class and race. But clubs? Trendy time eaters? There is a very brief window when any normal person might become very heavily into dancing, drinking, and trolling for companionship.

It's best not to base a business model on luring people in that narrow demographic into your store. It will not keep WalMart afloat, that's for sure.

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