Walmart is buying Bonobos for $310 million

Posted June 18, 2017

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In a statement released after the Walmart purchase of Bonobos was announced, Marc Lore deemed Andy Dunn an "innovator".

The acquisition, announced Friday morning, was quickly overshadowed by Amazon's surprising move to acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in cash. Walmart won't sell Bonobos apparel in its stores, but will continue to offer it on Bonobos.com and possibly on Jet.com.

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Walmart said that in the last quarter its e-commerce sales were up 63 percent, with "the majority coming from organic growth in Walmart.com" - meaning it has yet to prove that its big acquisition play to buy into "digitally native" brands has or will pay off.

But many customers threatened to abandon the brand after catching wind of the Walmart takeover. Bonobos in particular has branched into brick and mortar, devising Bonobos Guideshops that provide opportunities to see, feel and try on clothes; Bonobos now has 35 Guideshops across the United States and in 118 Nordstrom stores and on Nordstrom.com. Instead, it will be available on Jet.com, the online marketplace Walmart recently bought for $3 billion.

Bonobos was founded by Stanford graduates Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn, who is now the company's CEO. The ShoeBuy acquisition was about $70 million, and Moosejaw was purchased for about $51 million. The retail giant seems to be following suit with the Bonobos deal.

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However, even as Bonobos had become a more conventional retailer, it had maintained its online ethos, offering generous shipping and return policies.

"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". ModCloth, a women's clothing and accessories online retailer, is now also owned by Walmart. Dunn will report to Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. ecommerce, and founder and former CEO of Jet.com, which Walmart acquired past year. Moosejaw's CEO oversees the outdoor category for both Walmart and Jet.com, Jariwala says, while Sorabella helms the footwear category for the various sites.

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