Walmart Overhauls Leisure Clothing Brand in High Demand Market

Image Credit: Walmart

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

Clothes may make the person, but you can’t judge somebody on what you can’t see. Wearing pajama bottoms on your business Zooms is likely here to stay, keeping the leisurewear boom booming and retailers scrambling for customers of all shapes and sizes.

On Monday, Walmart – the biggest of the big box retailers – rolled out its new intimates and sleepwear line, a sector of the fashion industry that has seen a major boom in the last three years. The change comes as brands are keen to grow up and cater to as many body sizes, styles, and comfort preferences as possible.

Clothes for Everyone

The faces and shapes of lingerie and loungewear marketing are changing fast as many brands look to capitalize on a body positivity movement that’s boosting the bottom lines of some industry titans. Victoria’s Secret – a chain that made its name off waifish supermodels – saw Q1 online sales decrease 15% from 2019 to 2020, while rival Aerie saw a 75% increase as it offered a wider range of sizes. “Aerie has redefined the standards of beauty by encouraging young women to love their own bodies,” Shelley Kohan wrote in Forbes.

With that new clientele in mind, the sleepwear and intimates industry is getting out of bed and seizing the day…and thanks to our new WFH reality, it’s quite a day for Big Pajama. The global sleepwear market was valued at $11.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $18.5 billion by 2027, according to market research firm IMARC. That growth is intensifying competition between brands like Target, ThirdLove, and Kim Kardashian’s Skims, whose value doubled in less than a year, reaching $3.2 billion by January. Walmart, which also sells everything from electronics to groceries, is taking yet another step to carve out market share with all kinds of customers trying to keep it cozy 24/7:

  • Walmart’s new sleepwear and intimates line, Joyspun, will replace the previous Secret Treasures line, which drove $1 billion in sales last year. Joyspun will offer more sizes, fabrics, and designs to “modernize in a way that brings us into the future,” Denise Incandela, Walmart’s executive vice president of apparel and private brands, told CNBC. “It’s a white-hot moment for the intimates category.”
  • In 2017, the Arkansas behemoth acquired men’s clothing line Bonobos for $310 million and acquired plus-size retailer ELOQUII for roughly $100 million a year later. In 2021, Walmart hired Project Runway’s Brandon Maxwell as creative director of its trendy yet affordable Scoop and Free Assembly brands, and earlier this year it launched Love & Sports, a fitness and swimwear brand created by fashion designer Michelle Smith and SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith.

B-Boy is back: In keeping with the casual over formal trend, even track pants are now viewed as a high fashion choice for the office and dinner parties, The Wall Street Journal reported. Designer shops like Tibi and Maimoun are selling track pants for more than $400. Adidas runs cheap at $50. So whether you’re posh or sporty, comfort drives fashion these days.