Walmart to acquire Bonobos for $310 million
Walmart announced on Friday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Bonobos for $310 million in cash, after months of advanced discussions between the two parties. The agreement is expected to close toward the end of the second quarter or beginning of the third quarter of this fiscal year.
Launched online in 2007, Bonobos is one of the leading US apparel brands that have been built on the Internet. The New York City-based clothing brand ventured offline in 2011 with Bonobos Guideshops, and the brand currently operates 35 Guideshops in the US.
Bonobos expanded its distribution through a partnership with Nordstrom. The Seattle-based retailer invested $16.4 million into Bonobos in 2012 and brought the brand to 118 doors in the US and on Nordstrom.com.
With the acquisition by Walmart, Bonobos founder and CEO Andy Dunn will oversee the retailer’s collection of digitally native vertical brands, and he will report to Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart US E-commerce.
“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. “Adding innovators like Andy will continue to help us shape the future of Walmart, and the future of retail. I’m thrilled to welcome Andy and the entire Bonobos team. They’ve created an amazing product and customer experience, and that will not change. In fact, Andy will be a great influence on the company, especially in leading our collection of exclusive brands offered online.”
Recode first reported in April that the retailer was interested in acquiring the apparel brand. The acquisition is expected to help Walmart better compete with its top rival, Amazon.
In 2016, the retailer acquired Jet.com for $3.3 billion to ramp up its e-commerce presence, and acquired ShoeBuy for $70 million, MooseJaw for $51 million and ModCloth for $45 million, as directed by Lore, who joined the company with the Jet.com acquisition.
Walmart, in the most recent quarter, saw 63% growth in US e-commerce sales, with most of the increase coming from organic growth for Walmart.com. The Bonobos acquisition is part of a broader e-commerce strategy to enhance the customer value proposition.
“We began Bonobos ten years ago to give men a completely different product and shopping experience: better fitting, higher quality clothing, in new and imaginative ways,” said Dunn. “That will always remain our mission. We are excited about applying all that we have learned to help shepherd in the next era of retail.”
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