Walmart ditches Garment District offices

October 27, 2011 09:01AM

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1372 Broadway
Just as Walmart pushes to enter the New York City retail market, it has exited Garment District office space.

Crain’s reported that two years after opening a 46,000-square-foot apparel office at 1372 Broadway, between 38th and 39th streets, where it bought and designed fashionable clothing to compete with Target’s popular clothing lines, Walmart has shut down its 275-employee office. Apparel purchases never picked up, and the retail giant quickly pivoted back to basic items, letting the leaders of the venture leave the firm last year. In 2010, apparel comprised just 7 percent of Walmart’s sales.

“When you consider our core strategy centered in basics and fashion basics, in order to execute, our offices do not need to be located in New York,” wrote Andy Barron, executive vice president of softlines for Walmart U.S.

Walmart signed a 10-year lease for the second floor and second floor mezzanine in 2007.

The 275 employees working out of the building, which was purchased by Lloyd Goldman’s BLDG Management from SL Green Realty for $274 million in 2008, will be offered positions in the retailer’s Arkansas headquarters. [Crain’s]