The Queer Eye for the Walmart guy
There’s good news for fans of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” reality television series who also love low everyday prices. Walmart has just announced the debut on its site of an exclusive home furnishings line inspired by the show’s Fab Five hosts — Bobby Berk (interior design), Karamo Brown (culture), Tan France (fashion), Antoni Porowski (culinary) and Jonathan Van Ness (personal grooming).
The new collection includes 80 industrial-modern pieces with prices ranging from $70 to $599. A Walmart spokesperson told RetailWire that the company began working with Dorel, the manufacturer that licenses the brand, late last year with the goal of bringing the line to its customers whether they are Queer Eye fans or simply people who love “high-quality, trend-forward furniture at great value pricing.”
The spokesperson said the retailer thinks the new line “will appeal specifically to men, but we believe it’s for anyone who appreciates beautiful furniture at incredible prices. The simplistic and versatile modern industrial designs can fit a wide range of personal styles and easily fit into their homes.”
Walmart is introducing the line at a time when consumers are spending more on home furnishings as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. On the retailer’s first quarter earnings call, CEO Doug McMillon said sales of its home categories in both its stores and online “took off” as the pandemic hit with “customers looking to improve their indoor and outdoor living spaces.” He attributed the retailer’s ability to maintain margins despite a huge jump in demand partly to the increase in sales of high margin categories, including home.
Walmart is not the only furniture seller that has seen sales tick up. In May, Wayfair reported that its first-quarter direct retail net revenue jumped 20.3 percent as its active customer base increased 28.6 percent during the period.
“Millions of new shoppers have discovered Wayfair while they shelter in place at home, and we are seeing strong acceleration in new and repeat customer orders across almost all classes of goods and across all regions,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair, in a statement.
- The Queer Eye collection – Walmart.com
- Wayfair Announces First Quarter 2020 Results – Wayfair Inc.
- Walmart, Inc. (WMT) CEO Doug McMillon on Q1 2021 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How likely is the Queer Eye home furnishings line to be a hit with Walmart’s customers? Does Walmart have other opportunities to pursue exclusive brand partnerships on a permanent or on an in-and-out basis like Target to drive sales outside of everyday staples?