Wal-Mart Nabs Bonobos for $310M

Following the close of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s acquisition of Bonobos Inc., an apparel brand built on the internet, for $310 million in cash, Bonobos founder and CEO Andy Dunn will come aboard to oversee the mega-retailer's collection of digitally native vertical brands.

"Adding innovators like Andy will continue to help us shape the future of Walmart, and the future of retail", Lore said in a statement. "We are excited about applying all that we have learned to help shepherd in the next era of retail".

Admittedly, today's most mind-blowing acquisition news is that Amazon is purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, furthering what seems like its mission to take over every aspect of consumers' lives.

But many customers threatened to abandon the brand after catching wind of the Walmart takeover. And in March, Walmart announced that it had purchased ModCloth, an online seller of women's clothing and accessories that targets customers looking for full sizes.

What do all of these names, plus Bonobos and Jet.com, which it acquired last August for $3 billion, have in common? "In fact, Andy will be a great influence on the company, especially in leading our collection of exclusive brands offered online". It then acquired ShoeBuy for $70 million in late December. It's blurring the lines between its brick-and-mortar and online stores with "Easy Reorder", which shows a customer's in-store purchases on their account online and allows them to click to make a repeat purchase online.

Dunn said in a blog post the "bold decision" to sell his company to Wal-Mart "bets our future on taking our core capability in building a brand in the digital age and spreading it across a wider ecosystem".

Unlike many startups, Bonobos, founded in 2007 by co-founders Andy Dunn (who in 2015 returned as CEO) and Brian Spaly (who founded Trunk Club and this year left the concierge service, now owned by Nordstrom) generates a profit and enjoys $150 million in annual sales, raising about $127 million to date from investors including Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Nordstrom. It's the latest and most expensive in a series of relatively small apparel acquisitions made by Walmart in the past year, including Modcloth, ShoeBuy.com, and the outdoor e-tailer Moosejaw. "They have access to brands, buying teams ... they have merchants and software engineers that might not move to Bentonville or Silicon Valley", he said. And, Jet.com continues to provide a strong avenue for reaching an urban, millennial customer.

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