STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

What Ellen DeGeneres means to Walmart

Ellen is helping give Walmart a makeover.The world's largest retailer recently announced a ...

Posted: Sep 5, 2018 6:52 PM
Updated: Sep 5, 2018 6:52 PM

Ellen is helping give Walmart a makeover.

The world's largest retailer recently announced a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres for EV1, an exclusive clothing line debuting next week online and in 2,300 of its stores.

EV1 will feature nearly 60 items, including denim jeans, graphic t-shirts, and sneakers, each $30 or less.

"EV1 promotes kindness and love and diversity," DeGeneres said in a blog post. "The biggest inspiration was actually inclusiveness."

Retailers and brands partner with celebrities all the time, but Walmart's DeGeneres deal highlights the company's effort to project a more inclusive image — and bolster its fashion choices.

"Ellen gives them a very visible symbol to build off," said Alan Ellstrand, the associate dean of the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. "It's a little unexpected for the typical Walmart image."

Creating a kinder, gentler Walmart has been a top priority for chief executive Doug McMillon. He rose up the ranks at Walmart and took over as CEO in 2014.

Bringing in DeGeneres boosts Walmart's progressive credentials and taps into her broad appeal. It is the latest example of Walmart looking for ways to attract younger, urban, and more diverse shoppers and tighten its grip on middle America.

Fashion chops

DeGeneres also adds a fresh look to Walmart's revamped clothing lineup.

Clothing makes up less than a tenth of Walmart's sales — compared to 20% at Target— but the company has been expanding its premium and affordable selections to distinguish itself from rivals.

On the premium end, it has acquired specialty retailers like Shoebuy, Bonobos for men, ModCloth for women, and Moosejaw outdoor gear. Bonobos, for example, sells a pair of men's pants for $98, while Walmart's brand costs around $20 on its website.

Walmart is careful to operate the brands as standalone businesses, but analysts believe it will seize opportunities to integrate the two. It recently did that with Moosejaw, debuting a curated outdoor page on the redesigned Walmart.com.

Walmart joined with Lord & Taylor for a dedicated page on the site, too. McMillon has told analysts that Walmart is looking for other companies to partner with to sell through its website.

EV1 strengthens Walmart's clothing offering downmarket.

In February, it announced four new lines: Time and Tru for women, plus-sized Terra & Sky, Wonder Nation for kids, and George for men.

Walmart plans to make the brands more visible by remodeling floor plans, adding signs to help customers shop around, and upgrading fitting rooms in select stores.

Improving the quality, design, and store layout of its cheaper clothing offering will help drive sales and improve profit margins, Walmart US CEO Greg Foran told investors in June.

"One of the reasons I like apparel is you stand in our stores and you just have a look at our apparel and you just go, 'Wow, the value of that is incredible,'" he said. "It's instant gratification for a customer."

Walmart's overhauled fashion strategy is working so far: Last quarter, an increase in clothing sales helped lift Walmart to its fastest growth in a decade.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 750432

Reported Deaths: 13764
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031991782
Lake556411007
Allen41662691
St. Joseph36974564
Hamilton36561417
Elkhart29390459
Tippecanoe22886225
Vanderburgh22549400
Porter19348325
Johnson18432388
Hendricks17608317
Clark13206193
Madison13139344
Vigo12608253
LaPorte12415221
Monroe12188175
Delaware10954198
Howard10285225
Kosciusko9619119
Hancock8562145
Bartholomew8164157
Warrick7856156
Floyd7781180
Grant7232179
Wayne7160201
Boone6939103
Morgan6746141
Dubois6214118
Marshall6208116
Cass6000109
Dearborn589578
Henry5895109
Noble580787
Jackson508975
Shelby500896
Lawrence4738122
Gibson444593
Clinton441455
Harrison441073
DeKalb439485
Montgomery436390
Whitley406343
Huntington402481
Steuben399759
Miami393169
Jasper387454
Knox375890
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346970
Adams345355
Jefferson335785
White331553
Daviess3033100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay266448
Washington245234
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234431
Starke227958
Fountain220348
Sullivan214343
Owen211658
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187137
Rush175826
Vermillion174644
Franklin170335
Tipton166146
Parke149316
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120547
Newton113736
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101414
Martin91615
Warren83815
Switzerland8118
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108146

Reported Deaths: 20122
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1286421460
Cuyahoga1157382208
Hamilton813551248
Montgomery525311041
Summit48395999
Lucas43343818
Butler38951604
Stark33318929
Lorain25658504
Warren24580303
Mahoning22355603
Lake21166387
Clermont20111253
Delaware18841135
Licking16660222
Fairfield16570204
Trumbull16537482
Medina15603271
Greene15272247
Clark14233306
Wood13287198
Portage13242214
Allen11910239
Richland11601211
Miami10843224
Wayne9130222
Columbiana9029230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8658122
Tuscarawas8643248
Marion8641138
Erie8056164
Ashtabula7147179
Hancock6996132
Ross6943161
Geauga6834150
Scioto6534105
Belmont6155174
Union584549
Lawrence5726102
Jefferson5675158
Huron5544122
Sandusky5439125
Darke5415129
Seneca5347126
Washington5318109
Athens523660
Auglaize501887
Mercer487385
Shelby476595
Knox4570112
Madison444065
Ashland435597
Putnam4336103
Defiance432298
Fulton432072
Crawford4036110
Brown402461
Logan387577
Preble3848104
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359665
Williams348078
Champaign344258
Guernsey324853
Jackson318154
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin274965
Henry273367
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268960
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll197148
Paulding176542
Meigs148240
Monroe136344
Noble136039
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 82°
Angola
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 82°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Showers and storms are possible Saturday morning, but the chance of rain will stick around all day long.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events