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Hanesbrand and Wal-Mart in Plus-Size Deal

Hanesbrand's JMS line to be exclusive plus-size brand at Wal-Mart.

Hanesbrands Inc. has signed an exclusive agreement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to launch a line of plus-size apparel for women called JMS, making it the dedicated plus-size apparel brand in more than 3,500 Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

Janet Freedman, creative director of JMS, said the plus-size customer — a consumer segment that accounts for 60 percent of women who shop at Wal-Mart — can now buy an entire wardrobe by one brand. Freedman said JMS previously offered only wardrobe staples such as jeans and underwear to the plus-size consumer.

“Now, we can go everywhere with her because we dress her for her lifestyle, running errands, lunch with friends, going to the office or going out after work,” she said. “We constantly talk to our consumer and more importantly, we listen to her. So we include slimming seams, strategically placed pockets, freedom of movement and appropriate-weight materials. These and other fit solutions are incorporated into stylish clothing. We design these clothes to flatter and celebrate her curves.”

In July, Richard A. Noll, chief executive officer of Hanesbrands, told analysts the company was in the process of finalizing an agreement with Wal-Mart. He said the deal could generate $75 million in incremental sales for Hanesbrands in 2010 and increase overall sales by $150 million a year over the next several years. Wal-Mart accounted for 27 percent of Hanesbrands’ revenue in the fiscal year ended Jan. 3, according to the company’s annual securities filing. JMS generates estimated annual wholesale sales of $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion.