Wal-Mart scoops up men’s clothing company Bonobos for $310 million

Not to be outdone by rival Amazon buying Whole Foods Market for a whopping $13.7 billion, Wal-Mart Stores on Friday said it would shell out $310 million for a purchase of its own — online men’s clothing retailer Bonobos.

The move is part of Wal-Mart’s digital push, embracing online sales in an era when e-commerce giants like Amazon threaten to eat the lunch of traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In Wal-Mart’s most recent quarter, the store says it saw 63 percent growth in U.S. e-commerce sales. Last summer Wal-Mart paid about $3 billion in cash to acquire online retailer Jet.com.

Under the terms of the deal announced Friday, Bonobos founder and CEO Andy Dunn will report to Marc Lore, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. e-Commerce. Dunn will oversee the company’s collection of online brands — including Bonobos — which will be offered on Jet.com and possibly other sites. Wal-Mart expects the acquisition will create “more new products for consumers and new ways to buy them.”

“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,” Lore wrote in a news release. “Adding innovators like Andy will continue to help us shape the future of Wal-Mart, and the future of retail. I’m thrilled to welcome Andy and the entire Bonobos team.”

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close toward the end of the second quarter or beginning of the third quarter of this fiscal year.

Bonobos, launched in 2007 with a signature line of better-fitting men’s pants, opened physical “Guideshop” stores in 2011, and partnered with Nordstrom in 2012.

The company has raised almost $128 million, according to Crunchbase.

The Bonobos team took to Twitter on Friday morning to assure its fans that its product quality, design and customer service will stay the same. “You, our customers, can count on us for that,” the company wrote.

In a blog post, Bonobos founder and CEO Dunn wrote about the decision to sell to the corporate giant.

“When the idea first presented itself, my immediate thought was no way,” he wrote. “At the time we began discussions a couple months ago, we were an inch from signing another deal that would have kept us on an independent path.”

But, Dunn wrote, Lore is a mentor of his, and helped him realize the game-changing potential of combining Wal-Mart and Jet with Bonobos.

“As we walk onto this bigger stage, we will have to be both more humble and more aggressive at the same time,” he wrote. “This is gonna be fun.”

Photo: This file photo taken on December 31, 2014 shows a Walmart store in Landover, Maryland.
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)


Tags: , , ,


Share this Post