Rumors had been circulating of the deal between Bonobos and Walmart for a while, and as predicted, this in part is a way to bring Andy Dunn, who had founded and was leading Bonobos, into a wider leadership role at Walmart running all of its fashion and related lifestyle operations. The company acquired Jet.com, widely seen as a potential Amazon challenger, with its same-day delivery capabilities to a younger, higher-income customer bae, for $3 billion in cash and another $300 million in stock previous year.
But many customers threatened to abandon the brand after catching wind of the Walmart takeover.
Bononos, a men's clothing brand, launched online in 2007 and quickly expanded offline to open Bonobos Guideshop stores and gained a partnership with Nordstrom Inc. Lore added that Dunn will help "shape the future" of Walmart and the "future of retail".
In March 2016, the also bought Hayneedle in March 2016, and Zappos-style shoe retailer ShoeBuy for $70 million from IAC. Carol Spieckerman, a retail consultant and president of Spieckerman Retail, said Wal-Mart's purchase was important as it tries to boost its online market share to compete with Amazon. Wal-Mart said those brands - which include Bonobos and ModCloth - will be offered on Jet.com in addition to their current web platforms.
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The Bonobos deal, announced Friday, is expected to close at the end of the second quarter or the beginning of the third quarter of this fiscal year.
Bonobos is a clothing brand focused on delivering a fun approach to menswear, a great fit, and an excellent customer experience. In a statement, Walmart CEO Marc Lore insists nothing about Bonobos will change, other than you may soon see its products offered through Jet and Walmart's other "digitally native vertical brands".
"What Moosejaw, ModCloth, Bonobos all have in common is not only that they are apparel retailers, but they have very authentic voices with a particular group", said Laura Kennedy, an analyst with research firm Kantar Retail.
Expanding its online presence, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. "They have access to brands, buying teams ... they have merchants and software engineers that might not move to Bentonville or Silicon Valley", he said. These are brands born online, and owned from design through distribution. Moosejaw's CEO oversees the outdoor category for both Walmart and Jet.com, Jariwala says, while Sorabella helms the footwear category for the various sites.