Gap is debuting its home collection next month on Walmart.com
The retailers unveiled the new Gap Home collection on Thursday, which will carry more than 400 items including bedding, window treatment, tabletop, and other interior decor products. The launch represents a significant multiyear partnership for the companies with the potential to grow, the parties said.
The collection, which is set to go on sale on June 24 on Walmart’s website, spans a price range of roughly $15 to $65, and features products made with materials including organic cotton, and recycled fabrics including yarn.
“Gap Home embodies the brand’s optimistic, modern American style that bridges the gaps between individuals, generations and cultures,” the companies said in a joint statement. “The launch collection is made with the planet in mind and features quality materials like denim and chambray with unique finishes at a price point that is accessible to all customers.”
The collection also appears to reflect a number of current intersecting trends — an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has reoriented shoppers much more toward their homes; Walmart’s steady investments in building its digital platform and a goal to top $100 billion in e-commerce revenue in the next couple of years; and Gap’s own strategy over the past year to push into licensing and expand its brand.
The collection will be available exclusively on Walmart.com, with the possibility of the collaboration expanding over time to include products sold at Walmart stores, the companies said. They have also said that for the time being, “new Gap Home seasonal and special collections will drop throughout the year” on the Walmart website.
“I think this is a very strong first step for us, in terms of being able to deliver on our idea of timeless signature style that’s affordable and sustainable,” Anthony Soohoo, executive vice president of Home at Walmart, told WWD.
“I think that’s why this partnership made sense: leveraging Gap’s expertise in terms of delivering timeless American styles, and, for us, to be able to leverage across our network and be able to deliver that at great value for our customers,” he said. “This is our first step, and I can’t wait to see where else this goes as we strengthen our partnership in the years ahead.”
Walmart has continued to cement its e-commerce business throughout the ongoing pandemic, reporting that its e-commerce revenues shot up 79 percent overall during its fiscal year 2021. In its recent first-quarter results for FY 2022, the retailer reported its e-commerce continued to grow some 37 percent, a figure that analysts believe indicates the retailer’s strength in the online domain even as shoppers return to stores in person.
Soohoo said that the company will continue to identify new areas of consumer demand as it considers the potential to pursue partnerships with other brands and retailers.
“When you think about home right now, it’s the center of attention, where, as we come out of the pandemic, we learned a lot about the usefulness of that home space,” he said.
“So, as we look at it, we will always adapt and serve our customers the best way we can,” he added. “If it means bringing on more brands, bringing on more partnerships, we’re certainly open to that.”
For Gap, the launch marks another milestone in its overall strategy to grow its brand and cater to shifting product needs as the pandemic has changed shoppers’ lifestyles, said Mark Breitbard, president and chief executive officer of Gap Global.
“It is clear that our customer has an appetite for other extensions from us,” he told WWD.
“[Walmart] has incredible experience in the home space, and they’ve made a bunch of improvements and upgrades on Walmart.com and the whole experience of it,” he said. “We just thought launching Gap home with a proven home retailer like Walmart made a lot of sense for us.”
The launch also advances a strategy that Gap has embarked on of late to build a licensing business. Last year, the apparel retailer announced a partnership with licensing company IMG, with the goal of cultivating a partner to help the retailer navigate the licensing world, help negotiate deals and source licensees, Breitbard said.
With Gap Home, Gap is overseeing the creative side of the process and it licenses products from home wares manufacturers, then selling them on Walmart.com.
“Licensing has a different economic model to the rest of our business, which is obviously vertical retail,” Breitbard said.
“And so, with the licensing model, it’s capital light,” he said. “And we think that as we grow the licensing part of the business, it will be a more predictable revenue stream as well.”
“One of the big things to make a note of is that this is a multiyear partnership, and this isn’t a small collaboration where we drop styles and expect to be done,” he added. “This is us trying to build a business here.”