Wal-Mart Looking to Upscale

APRIL 19, 2006 - Posted at 8:34 a.m. CST

ROGERS, AR - A Wal-Mart executive says the company will soon unveil an array of higher-priced lawn chairs and fluffy towels, as well as trendier clothing, including a new hip-hop brand for young males called Exsto.  Wal-Mart Stores USA chief executive Eduardo Castro-Wright told reporters yesterday about the new upscale thrust of Wal-Mart, whose famous tag-line is "Always Low Prices."

He said the goal with Exsto, which will hit the shelves in July, is to mimic the success of Metro Seven, which is targeted at young women and has scored well since its launch last year.

Castro-Wright said other plans include reducing merchandise inventory to reduce clutter, and relocating key regional executives to the areas for which they are responsible.  He said that would better tailor stores to the communities they serve.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)