Walmart, the largest private company in the United States, just announced plans to purchase Bonobos for $310 million in cash. The purchase announcement comes on the heels of news that Amazon is buying Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion, also in cash, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
Bonobos is a menswear retailer. The company currently operates 35 brick-and-mortar stores. Walmart’s decision to buy Bonobos may have been motivated by a desire to attract new customers in niche areas where the retail giant is not as strong, MSN reports.
Walmart is reportedly planning to offer Bonobos fashions via its Jet.com division, which was also recently acquired, and “possibly” through other Walmart brands in a “variety of countries over time.” Walmart purchased Jet, an online-only retailer, for $3 billion last August.
Earlier this year, Walmart began offering free two-day shipping on orders totaling at least $35 and curbside grocery pickup at select locations. Both moves were viewed by many as substantial steps taken to compete more adeptly against Amazon. Sears and Kmart are just several of the once-highly-successful retail chains that have closed a multitude of stores over the past two years while trying to compete with both Amazon and Walmart.
Another new Walmart program to allow shoppers to purchase online-only products at a discount if the items are picked up at a store was recently rolled out as well.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 16, 2017
“Bonobos is a brand with loyal customers, premium price points, and expertise in a differentiated niche,” said Stephen Beck, a managing partner in a management consultancy firm. “It attracts exactly the kind of buyer who does not frequent Walmart today.”
After buying Jet, Walmart not only kept the company’s top executive officer, Marc Lore, but he was also made the CEO of e-commerce for Walmart in the United States. The retail giant seems to be following suit with the Bonobos deal. Company CEO and founder Andy Dunn will be soon be overseeing Walmart’s digital brands.
In a statement released after the Walmart purchase of Bonobos was announced, Marc Lore deemed Andy Dunn an “innovator.” Lore added that Dunn will help “shape the future” of Walmart and the “future of retail.”
According to Lore, Bonobos has created not only a great line of products but also offers an outstanding “customer experience.”
Wal-Mart, continuing to bulk up e-commerce offerings, struck a deal to buy Bonobos for $310 million https://t.co/gHpBRloh96 (corrects typo)
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 16, 2017
Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said accessories and clothing are the top search and purchase category for online shoppers.
Shortly before Walmart bought Jet, the online retailer had purchased ShoeBuy for about $70 million. In the months that followed, Walmart also bought Moosejaw, an outdoor clothing and gear retailer. ModCloth, a women’s clothing and accessories online retailer, is now also owned by Walmart.
Walmart retained ShoeBuy CEO Mike Sorabella and about 200 of his staffers. ModCloth CEO Matthew Kaness and Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comeford and his core team are also still leading their respective former businesses.
Social media comments after Walmart announced it was buying Bonobos were a mixed bag. Some customers registered their displeasure with the acquisition and even deemed it the end of the brand.
[Featured Image by fotomak/Shutterstock]