At a time when apparel brands such as Lucky, J. Crew and John Varvados are sliding into bankruptcy and analysts are forecasting the final chapter of the department-store era, Walmart has made yet another decisive grab for a share of the apparel segment. Earlier today, the big-box retailer announced the debut of a private-label brand called Free Assembly, available online and in 250 of the retailer’s brick-and-mortar locations.
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