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- Walmart has sold three digital companies — Moosejaw, Bonobos, and Eloquii — this year.
- The Arkansas-based retail giant acquired each of these under former e-commerce head Marc Lore.
- The retailer has continued to expand its e-commerce presence in recent years.
Walmart has been dropping some of its recently acquired direct-to-consumer companies like flies.
In the past couple of months, Walmart announced it was selling outdoor recreation apparel and gear company Moosejaw, upscale e-commerce apparel company Bonobos, and plus-size clothing company Eloquii.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant acquired each company in 2017 and 2018 when Marc Lore served as the company’s head of e-commerce. Under Lore, despite big revenue growth, the Walmart e-commerce division incurred major losses, sometimes annually upwards of $1 billion. He stepped down from his position at the beginning of 2021.
Walmart referred Insider to past statements where it said the time was right to shed the brands, and that the number of products that it sells on its own platform, walmart.com, had grown to hundreds of millions of items.
This year’s brand sell-offs followed Walmart’s shedding of shoes.com and lingerie brand Bare Necessities in 2020, and fashion brand ModCloth in 2019. All were acquired under Lore’s leadership. And in 2020, Walmart discontinued Jet.com, the online marketplace founded by Lore that Walmart bought for $3 billion in 2016.
Recently, Walmart’s e-commerce goals have shifted. Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said at an investor day event earlier this month that “we’re now in a phase that is less about scaling store pickup and delivery, e-commerce assortment and e-commerce (fulfillment center) square footage, and more about execution and operating margin improvement.”
Here’s a look at each of the companies Walmart has offloaded this year.
Walmart purchased Moosejaw in 2017 for about $51 million to bolster its outdoor and e-commerce offerings. In February 2023, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that Walmart had agreed to sell Moosejaw to Dick’s for an undisclosed price.
Moosejaw, which was founded in 1992 and is based in Michigan, sells a variety of outdoor recreation apparel and gear. The company is known for its irreverent style and marketing stunts. Even under Walmart’s ownership, the company never had to get approval for its marketing, CEO Eoin Comerford told Insider in a 2020 interview. “If we need someone to approve our brand voice, then it’s over,” he said.
The company operates an independent website and has 13 brick-and-mortar stores, with the majority in Michigan. One store opened in Walmart’s headquarters town of Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2021.
Walmart spent major coin — $310 million — in 2017 to buy Bonobos, an e-commerce upscale men’s clothing company based out of New York.
Bonobos, founded in 2007, attracts young, urban customers with its slim-fitting pants, shirts, jackets, and suits. It has some physical stores in a couple of dozen states that it calls “guideshops” where customers can work with a personal shopper and try on clothing.
Walmart’s selling price for Bonobos shows how much the company has struggled through the years. Clothing company Express and brand management firm WHP Global are buying the company for $75 million, the two companies announced earlier this month.
Walmart’s last acquisition and most recently announced sale of the three companies is Eloquii, a plus-sized fashion company.
The retail giant paid a reported $100 million to purchase the company in 2018. The brand was founded in 2011 and offers fashion and on-trend apparel starting at size 14 through its website and stores.
Clothing company FullBeauty Brands announced this month that it is buying Eloquii from Walmart for an undisclosed price.
Have any thoughts on Walmart’s recent divestitures? Contact the reporter Ben Tobin on email at [email protected]