Walmart to Acquire Women’s Plus-Size Clothing Brand ELOQUII
Walmart announced yesterday that it's acquiring digital-native plus-size clothing brand ELOQUII for an undisclosed amount. TechCrunch reports the all-cash deal includes ELOQUII CEO Mariah Chase, her executive team and its 100 employees, who will continue to be based in Long Island City, NY and Columbus, OH. They’ll join Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce organization, reporting to Andy Dunn, senior vice president of digital consumer brands, Walmart U.S. e-commerce, when the deal closes later this year. While the cost of the ELOQUII acquisition wasn't disclosed, Walmart did reveal the price was less than what it paid for Bonobos earlier this year but more than the ModCloth acquisition. “Addressing customers’ vocal requests for fashion-forward styles is something ELOQUII does incredibly well,” notes Dunn, in a blog post about the deal.
Total Retail's Take: ELOQUII falls right in line with the other digital-native brands that Walmart has acquired in recent years, including Jet.com, Bonobos, ModCloth, Shoes.com, and others. Walmart has made it a strategic priority to identify and target for acquisition brands that connect with a segment of online consumers who perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise considered shopping with Walmart. Furthermore, ELOQUII will help Walmart tap into the estimated $21 billion segment of women's plus-size apparel sales. As Walmart and Amazon.com vie for online dominance, particularly in apparel sales, the acquisition of ELOQUII will help.
"The Jet.com acquisition has allowed Walmart to revamp its marketplace business and make a strong come back," notes Adrien Nussenbaum, U.S. CEO and co-founder of Mirakl, an online marketplace platform and drop-ship solution. "Walmart now stands as Amazon's sole contender in North America, making it clear the company needs to fight for every inch. In 2018, Amazon's fashion sales will exceed Walmart's for the first time ever. Hence, acquiring ELOQUII plays well in Walmart's strategy to stay strong in fashion and integrate more third-party brands into its global offering."