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Walmart buys its way into menswear with Bonobos’ acquisition

The largest world’s largest company by revenue is now also a name to consider within the menswear industry thanks to the 310 million dollars acquisition of men’s fashion retailer Bonobos.

The label’s clothes and accessories will be available on Jet.com, the online marketplace Walmart bought for 3.3 billion dollars last year. This is the last e-commerce acquisition by Walmart digital chief Marc Lore since Walmart acquired his company Jet.com seven months ago and the one coming with the biggest price tag.

The Walmart-Bonobos merger marks Walmart’s fourth retailer acquisition in less than a year, adding up to the retailer’s growing fashion portfolio: women’s retailer ModCloth, outdoor apparel supplier Moosejaw and ShoeBuy.

Following the closing, Andy Dunn, founder and CEO of Bonobos will report to Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. E-commerce, and oversee the company’s collection of digitally-native vertical brands. These are brands born online, and owned from design through distribution. The brands will be offered on Jet.com and possibly other Walmart brands in a variety of countries over time, and include Bonobos and recently-acquired ModCloth.said Walmart in a statement.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close toward the end of the second quarter or the beginning of the third quarter of this fiscal year.

Is Walmarts’ acquisition of Bonobos marking the start of mega-conglomerates?

This type of acquisitions will soon be seen more often, according to Mortimer Singer, CEO at TRAUB, who this weekend told ‘Forbes’ that this “is the beginning of powerful mega-conglomerates that combine digitally-native, direct-to-consumer businesses with traditional brick-and-mortar on a grand scale.”

Truth is that this bid for e-commerce is already paying off for Walmart: last quarter, Walmart’s US e-commerce sales were up 63 percent from the same time a year ago, with most of the gains coming from Walmart.com.

Lore has been trying to buy digital-native companies with strong brands that appeal to a different demographic than Walmart does, and ones that have the potential to be healthy standalone businesses with Walmart’s backing.

“We’re behind,” he said at Recode’s Code Commerce event in March. “We need to catch up.”

On the other hand, Andy Dunn, CEO of Bonobos said in a statement how they “are excited about applying all that we have learned to help shepherd in the next era of retail.” “We began Bonobos ten years ago to give men a completely different product and shopping experience: better fitting, higher quality clothing, in new and imaginative ways. That will always remain our mission.”

The deals have also been intended to bring new digital leadership into Walmart — the CEOs of the acquired companies have been staying in place — and to increase the selection of goods on Jet.com.

Image:Bonobos