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ibstubro's avatar

How does Walmart get by with selling clothes that look like crap the first time you wash them?

Asked by ibstubro (18730points) June 20th, 2015

Normally I avoid the “Faded Glory” brand like the plague, but I needed lemon yellow polo shirts for a promotion. I looked around and Walmart seemed to be the only option. It had been years since I tried their clothing and they obviously sell a lot of it, so I bought their polo’s at $9 each. Because of the color, not the price.

I had them embroidered and guess what? First washing they look like crap. Like clothes looked when I was a kid and left them slightly damp in the dryer for a day.

How do they get by with that? I don’t know of another retailer that does, including Kmart.

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22 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Crap is in! If there is anything more asinine than politics, it must be fashion. I can remember decades ago sitting down at lunch to read the Wall Street Journal and there on the front page was the tidbit that worn to destruction torn up American jeans were going for hundreds of dollars a pair in Russia. Go figure!

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

They will sell cheaper, lower quality stuff until people stop buying it. That’s the down side of a money driven enterprise. You will always find higher quality goods in businesses owned/operated by those who enjoy the process of making what they sell.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m talking about a basic, solid color, no frills polo shirt @stanleybmanly. I’ll wager the jeans going to Russia were Levi quality and up.

I used to find that Kmart’s clothes were comparable to department (mid tier) store clothes, @Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One and they’re certainly not enjoying much these days. Walmart quality, on the other hand, appears to be on a par with the Dollar stores but charging twice as much. Disposable shirts at $9.
Why does your name shadow like that?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well once you’ve driven quality manufacturers out of business, and bankrupt local distributors of reputable goods, where else are folks gonna shop? Thank goodness for Amazon?!?!?!

ragingloli's avatar

Walmart does not expect their clientele to ever wash their clothes.

josie's avatar

Caveat emptor
I suggest you not shop there anymore

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Walmart and crap, who would have thought of those together?

Pachy's avatar

They get by with it because it’s a business model that is attractive to certain types of shoppers.

JLeslie's avatar

A lot of people buying that crap don’t know any better. Also, it is really hard to find decent quality moderate clothing. Most of it is garbage or you have to pay really high prices for top designer items. The two extremes are ever more present, with the middle dwindling away.

Plus, clothing makers are happy for you to trash item within a few months and buy something new.

ibstubro's avatar

I think @Pachy sums it up with p-C-anache. “Certain shoppers.”

Respectully, @JLeslie, I think you may have hit the nail on the head.
If a family has never been able to afford more than the Walmart garbage, they wouldn’t “know any better.”
But they could get a discount at Walmart by getting a job there.

jerv's avatar

Well, when you can buy clothes, beer, and power tools at the same store, the convenience trumps the quality.

jca's avatar

You know who has decent polo shirts in a big variety of colors and sales, sales, sales? Lands End. Also LL Bean but I am more familiar with Lands End stuff, since I buy from them a lot. Not as cheap as Walmart, but decent quality for a polo shirt.

Also, in general, with any clothing you want to keep in good shape, don’t put it in the dryer. Dryers really beat up on clothing, cooks the elastic, wears clothes out. I’ll dry jeans, socks and clothes I wear around the house, everything else (shirts, underwear) I hang dry. My clothes last a long time (and I have expensive clothes and I have cheap clothes).

JLeslie's avatar

@ibstubro I didn’t mean it as a put down. I hope it didn’t come out that way. I buy some lower quality clothing myself. Tank tops, shorts, and pajamas especially. If I had children I would buy the cheaper stuff a lot of the time, because kids tend to be in trend and they grow out of everything anyway.

I worked in retail and was around $1,000 suits and $300 blouses. The quality is remarkably different. I don’t buy that stuff, too expensive, but the fabric, stitching, fit, it’s all very different.

I notice a crap load of rayon being used today. That stuff is horrible! The dryer really kills it (back to @jca‘s point) and even a lot of cotton today is not preshrunk (which really pisses me off) and the dry shrinks it up. I live in Florida, we need the dryer. Our humidity level is high. Still, I hate to even complain about cotton, because I wish I could find more of it.

jca's avatar

A good friend of mine has an embroidery machine and she does embroidery on clothes and other items as one of her hobbies. She told me (and if you google “care of embroidered clothing”), you shouldn’t put embroidered clothes in the dryer, because the stitching on the embroidery will shrink and pull the fabric of the shirt where it won’t lay flat any more. I am guessing, @ibstubro, that when you got the shirts embroidered and then put them in the wash, you then put them in the dryer, yes?

ibstubro's avatar

No, @JLeslie, I was agreeing with you. In the cycle of poverty people might not know that Walmart is selling trash. Might not know that a quality shirt will look nearly as nice as it did in the store after 10 launderings.

Didn’t you say you shop Lands End retail, @jca? Maybe Sears? I don’t mind mail order but I like to see what I’m buying first.

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: I shop at Lands End, usually online but sometimes from the store. Another option is you can look at the item in the store and then check the price online until it goes on sale or even better, post-season clearance. You can also sign up for their email discounts, and wait for a 30% or more discount and when you shop from them, they also send coupons in the box. So between all that, if you lurk you get good quality at cheap prices. If you hit the store (Sears has Lands End), you may find different sales and clearances. Also, with Lands End, anything you change your mind on or doesn’t fit, you can return to a Sears store.

I’ll go online and check prices for winter clearance in January or February, or bathing suits in September or October, and I get great stuff at incredible prices. Free shipping with a certain minimum order, which is nice.

Lands End online also has a business section, where you can get polos, sweaters and all kinds of stuff for work, including tote bags. My job orders clothes for us from there. Not sure about the prices as I don’t do the ordering for work. I know we recently got some tote bags with logo embroidered and I heard they were very cheap.

I’ll also buy stuff at Walmart. Certain things if the price is right (if I’m buying cheap stuff, I want cheap prices, and I know what the price should be). If I buy a cheap shirt for 10 or 12 bucks, I don’t expect it to last more than one or two seasons. I would be replacing my shirts anyway, as any clothing item will fade, get stains, whatever and start looking shabby so I don’t mind only having it one or two years at that price. Again, I want to emphasize that I usually don’t put clothes in the dryer. When someone compliments my shirts, which they often do, I’ll tell them it’s from Walmart. I wore a green one the other day with a pearl necklace and I got a lot of compliments on the green. I’ll try to link it to show an example.

ragingloli's avatar

as if it was not enough that rich people consider poor people to be peasants, now they even expect them to label themselves as such

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: Best quality for the price is often someplace like Costco, but they don’t usually have a huge selection of colors. Check Kohl’s online, too. They often have good sales, especially for Kohl’s card holders.

ibstubro's avatar

I’ll stop at my Sears and check out the Land’s End, @jca.

My problem has been finding solid vibrant yellow (not gold, not florescent) clothing (shirts, esp.) for men. At a good price, because we work in them and I will not wear a shirt with a visible blemish on it.

JLeslie's avatar

^^If you all need yellow you could look at those companies that print or embroider logos on shirts, and a bunch of you buy a large quantity. Lands End is a good idea too.

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, thanks, @JLeslie.
See the problem is that when we started our business I chose a vivid yellow background with a grass green logo. Unbeknownst to me, yellow was out of fashion for men at the time. I would order yellow and receive goldenrod. Even freakin John Deere had gone to gold and green. So I came to distrust that which I could not see.
But you’re right. I can get a sample from the company that does my embroidery before I buy shirts. Better than spending the embroidery cost on a POS Walmart shirt.

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