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Walmart to acquire men's clothier Bonobos for $310M

18 June 2017

After the deal closes, Bonobos founder and CEO Andy Dunn will move over to Walmart's U.S. e-commerce division under Marc Lore, former CEO of Jet.com and current chief of Walmart's online operations, to oversee the company's collection of digitally-native vertical brands. "It attracts exactly the kind of buyer who does not frequent Walmart today". The ShoeBuy acquisition was about $70 million, and Moosejaw was purchased for about $51 million.

"We're seeing momentum in the business as we expand our value proposition with customers and it's incredible to see how fast we're moving", said Lore in a statement. Walmart has since bought clothing seller ModCloth, footwear retailer Shoebuy.com and outdoor gear seller Moosejaw as it focuses on brands appealing to younger shoppers. Even as other fashion outlets like J. Crew have seen diminishing returns of late, Bonobos is one of the few brands that continues to grow-around 30 percent year over year, Recode claims-by offering fast, no-hassle shipping and free returns, and making some pretty damn good trousers.

Additionally, both Walmart and Amazon are experimenting with drive-up grocery stores models. In this role, Dunn will create new products for consumers and discover new channels through which they can buy them. Under the new deal, Bonobos clothing will not, as of yet, be sold in Walmart stores; it's not clear yet what will happen to the brand's current presence in Nordstrom or Bonobos' own brick-and-mortar locations, if anything. "And at the same time these acquisitions do allow us to reach essentially new customers that may have not shopped within our ecosystem in the past".

"Think about the expertise these teams inherently bring, " Jariwala said.

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Even Bonobos founder Andy Dunn publicly admitted that being associated with Walmart has baggage, and he said in a blog post that after the offer initially landed, he thought "no way".

Building up Walmart.com was the first step.

Still, Beck said that Walmart's latest acquisition may hobble Bonobos, and not do as much to bolster Walmart's customer base as it may hope. The retail giant seems to be following suit with the Bonobos deal. "Therefore, if Walmart's play is to acquire Bonobos to broaden its appeal to customers who do not see Walmart as relevant, the negative perceptions associated with the Walmart brand and its inconsistencies with the Bonobos brand mean the strategy is doomed to fail".