Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Walmart to acquire online men's clothing retailer Bonobos

Derrick Tucker | 18 June, 2017, 02:19

Global mega-retailer Wal-Mart has reached a deal to buy Bonobos, a men's clothing online retailer, for $310 million in cash, the companies announced.

But many customers threatened to abandon the brand after catching wind of the Walmart takeover.

Walmart is already encouraging customers to order online and then pick up in-store for a discount. Andy Dunn, the founder and CEO of Bonobos, is taking on the company's portfolio of "digitally-native vertical brands (brands born online, and owned from design through distribution)", according to a rep for Bonobos.

Wal-Mart said Bonobos brands will be offered on Jet.com, the online store founded by Lore that Wal-Mart acquired past year, and "possibly other Walmart brands in a variety of countries over time, and include Bonobos and recently-acquired ModCloth".

Rumors had been circulating of the deal between Bonobos and Walmart for a while, and as predicted, this in part is a way to bring Andy Dunn, who had founded and was leading Bonobos, into a wider leadership role at Walmart running all of its fashion and related lifestyle operations.

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"Adding innovators like Andy will continue to help us shape the future of Walmart, and the future of retail", stated Lore. 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. Women's online retailer ModCloth drew a similar negative reaction after it was snapped up by Walmart earlier this year. Wal-Mart expects the acquisition will create "more new products for consumers and new ways to buy them". "We also have a new mandate. We're really excited about this opportunity and hope deep down in your hearts you'll continue to be the incredible customers we love and appreciate", Bonobos wrote.

The announcement comes two months after Recode first broke the news that the companies were in advanced discussions about an acquisition, raising questions in the industry about how Walmart's low-price, Middle America brand would mesh with Bonobos' higher-end, higher quality aesthetic popular in urban centers.

Bonobos co-founder and CEO Andy Dunn, and other top executives, can earn an extra $20 million combined if they remain with Walmart for four years, one of these people said.

Walmart today announced it has entered an agreement to acquire Bonobos, Inc.

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