Wal-Mart Apparel Executive Resigns (WSJ)

In light of Wal-Mart announcing plans to enter the Manhattan Fashion industry, apparel executive resigns citing extreme difficulty to turn Wal-Marts fashion image around….Getting out before its too late, Claire Watts knew Wal-Marts fashion push was destined to fail.

Wal-Mart Apparel Executive Resigns

July 21, 2007; Page A3

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will base its women’s clothing executives in Manhattan to stay on top of fashion trends, following the resignation of a top apparel executive at its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters.

The departure of Claire Watts, executive vice president of apparel merchandising, underscores the difficulties the retailer faces in turning around the unit and reigniting its sales growth overall. Her resignation leaves the division at least temporarily in the hands of chief merchandising officer John Fleming and a newly promoted executive.

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Wal-Mart hasn’t yet decided if it will recruit someone to replace Ms. Watts as executive vice president of apparel. It has named Dottie Mattison, formerly chief merchant at its Walmart.com unit, as senior vice president and general merchandising manager of women’s apparel. Ms. Mattison will handle Wal-Mart’s merchandising, design and product strategy for women’s apparel from its offices in Manhattan.

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