Walmart is buying Bonobos for $310 million

Bonobos

Wal-Mart Offers a Refuge for Sellers Tired of Amazon

Founded in 2007, Bonobos got its start selling dress trousers to men and quickly expanded its lineup to shorts and colorful plaid shirts. 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.

Walmart is reportedly planning to offer Bonobos fashions via its Jet.com division, which was also recently acquired, and "possibly" through other Walmart brands in a "variety of countries over time".

"Apparel and accessories are now the number one category for digital commerce, " Ravi Jariwala, a Walmart spokesman, said in an interview prior to the Bonobos announcement. Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart's USA ecommerce division said in a statement.

These new brands help Walmart improve the experience for existing customers and extend its reach to new customers, Ravi Jariwala, senior director of public relations at Walmart.com, told Retail Dive last month. Launched online in 2007 with its signature line of better-fitting men's trousers, Bonobos is one of the leading apparel brands ever built on the web in the United States.

"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", said Lore.

The chance to work with Marc Lore, Jet.com's founder who has served as a mentor of Dunn's, helped convince him that striking a deal with Walmart could be a chance to help build a different kind of ecommerce company - a superteam of brands and executives. "I'm thrilled to welcome Andy and the entire Bonobos team". "Amazon sees that industry changing significantly - and they see that people don't necessary go to the grocery store anymore."At 9:48 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average .dji was down 25.06 points, or 0.12 percent, at 21,334.84, the S&P 500 .spx was down 4.96 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,427.5 and the Nasdaq Composite .ixic was down 17.47 points, or 0.28 percent, at 6,148.03.Four of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower". "In fact, our new customer acquisition is growing more rapidly this year than it did in 2016, and we grew a lot in 2016".

The move is part of Wal-Mart's bid to gain online prestige, along with customers that may not shop at its big-box stores. These locations don't actually have inventory to sell; rather they assist customers in determining the clothing they want and facilitate the purchase which is then delivered directly to the customer. "It probably has as much to do with creating a safe landing for companies that didn't have a path forward as independent entities, but had a nice search authority".

Bonobos is just the latest online company that Walmart has purchased, joining women's retailer ModCloth, outdoor gear supplier Moosejaw and ShoeBuy.

"Dominant players like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Costco, and Target now have to look over their shoulders at the Amazon train coming down the tracks", said Charlie O'Shea, lead retail analyst at Moody's Investors Service.

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