You know that part of every “ugly duckling” movie where the protagonist goes through a head-to-toe makeover in a matter of minutes? That describes the last four months for Walmart, which has revamped its wardrobe with the purchases of ShoeBuy, ModCloth, and even MooseJaw. And it’s apparently not done with apparel, with a possible purchase of online men’s retailer Bonobos in the offing.
Recode, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, reports that Walmart and Bonobos are in the final stages of making a deal to place Bonobos under the Jet.com umbrella.
New York City-based Bonobos was founded in 2007 as an online men’s dress pant outfitter that has since expanded to include dress shirts, suits, and outerwear.
The company isn’t only online, however, it currently operates 30 Guideshop locations where men can get fitted for apparel and then place orders that are delivered to their homes, Recode reports, adding that Bonobos clothing is also sold at some Nordstrom locations.
We’ve reached out to Walmart and Bonobos for comment on the possible deal, and will update this post when we hear back.
While Bonobos doesn’t seem to have much in common with Walmart — it’s clothing retails for $90 to more than $500, according to Recode — it does fit the bill for the retailer and its subsidiary Jet.com’s recent online retail shopping spree.
Walmart e-commerce chief Marc Lore has made it known that he’s concentrating on expanding Jet’s online offerings by way of acquiring other brands.
When Jet.com revealed its $70 million purchase of ShoeBuy in January, Lore told Recode that it was a “fair assumption” that the company and Walmart would pursue more acquisitions of online retailers, likely in “categories where they are long-tail, high-margin products and harder-to-crack brands.”
And that’s just what the company has done. Following the purchase of ShoeBuy, Jet.com paid $51 million for online outdoor retailer Moosejaw in February, followed by ModCloth in March.