Wal-Mart in Advanced Talks to Acquire Bonobos
Wal-Mart’s acquisition streak under new e-commerce chief Marc Lore looks likely to continue. The world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer is in advanced discussions to acquire Bonobos, a 10-year-old men’s fashion retailer based in New York City. Sources say the two sides have agreed on a price — which couldn’t immediately be learned — and that the deal is in its final due diligence stages. The deal would mark the fourth e-commerce acquisition by Wal-Mart since the retailer acquired Lore's company, Jet.com, seven months ago. Those acquisitions include women’s online retailer ModCloth, outdoor gear seller Moosejaw, and online shoe site ShoeBuy.
Total Retail's Take: It's looks as though another chapter in Wal-Mart's arms race with Amazon.com will be added with the acquisition of Bonobos. Wal-Mart has been aggressive in growing its digital business, primarily through acquisition. First was the purchase of Jet.com, which brought in Lore. Subsequent acquisitions have further solidified Wal-Mart's e-commerce business — and digital talent pool — but the traditional brick-and-mortar retailer still is a distant second to online leader Amazon. Bonobos brings to the table not only a growing e-commerce business, but also more than 30 brick-and-mortar showrooms. And if a deal with Bonobos does go through, don't expect it to be Wal-Mart's last. Lore hasn't been shy about telling people that Wal-Mart is using acquisition as a way to add digital-native companies with strong brands that appeal to a different demographic than the retailer's target customer.