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In the UK, the Evening Standard reported that it is beginning to look like "in the foreseeable future there may be more people on the planet wearing George than any other apparel brand."

The reason? The 'George' label originated at Asda, which is now owned by Wal-Mart, and the Arkansas-based retailer is exporting the brand everywhere on the planet where it feels it can have an impact with a line of quality, fashionable, and value-priced clothing for women and children.

Various components of the 'George' line are now being sold, in addition to the UK, in the US, Korea, Mexico, Canada and Germany, with designs adapted to the cultural differences of various countries.
KC's View:
Did anybody else notice the bevy of stories last week reviewing Wal-Mart's entry into the music business? Wal-Mart is offering the ability to download songs online for 88 cents apiece, undercutting Apple Computer's pioneering iTunes service, which charges 99 cents per song.

Unusual for Wal-Mart, its service got mediocre reviews. Among the criticisms is the fact that users have to have Windows 98 or better; Macintosh or Linux users can't use the service.

And, while there are 80,000 songs in Wal-Mart's catalog, apparently it is heavy on country, rap and pop, but "thin around the edges," according to the Associated Press review. There also doesn’t seem to be much classical, with one reviewer unable to find anything composed by those young upstarts Beethoven and Mozart.

It's interesting because music is as much as fashion business as clothing is…and at least in the early stages, Wal-Mart is demonstrating some limitations in terms of selection. (We've had MNB users complain to us that Wal-Mart also refuses to carry songs online with lyrics that it deems objectionable…though we don't know this first-hand because we have a Mac.)

Not sure what this means, except that in all probability, Wal-Mart is very comfortable in the mainstream, leaving "the edges" to others. It is that way in general merchandise, and it is that way in fashion areas such as clothing, music and, yes, food. In fact, Wal-Mart probably doesn’t even identify food as a fashion area…which strikes us as an opportunity to be exploited by its competition.