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Walmart Moves Apparel Back to HQ

After moving to New York in 2009, Walmart U.S. is moving its apparel office back to the company's Bentonville, Ark. headquarters.In a memo to employees on Wednesday, Andy Barron, Walmart U.S. executive vice president for apparel and other soft lines, expl

In a memo to employees on Wednesday, Andy Barron, Walmart U.S. executive vice president for apparel and other soft lines, explained that the move follows the company's recent merchandising shift back to a basic assortment of socks, underwear, t-shirts and jeans.

Lisa Rhodes, senior vice president of apparel merchandising for Walmart U.S., will stay on through July to lead the transition. The company also named Mary Fox, a senior vice president of its global apparel sourcing, as the project leader in New York through the transition.

Two Walmart employees have been promoted to new positions to co-lead the division in Bentonville. Jeff Evans will lead the men’s, kids’, babies and shoes segment, while Marybeth Cornwell will lead women, intimates, jewelry and accessories.

Walmart U.S. is seeking to reverse nine straight quarters of same-store sales declines. Earlier this month, the company said that its return to basic apparel merchandise is helping to drive traffic back to its stores. In September, same-store sales of socks, underwear and jeans saw gains.

The company also plans to bring back plus-sized clothing to its stores after moves to take that and other products out alienated its target shoppers.

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