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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press A man walks by the Bonobos Guideshop in New York's Financial District in March. Walmart says it's buying the primarily online men's clothing retailer, the latest in a series of online business acquisitions.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 1:00 am

Walmart buys men's clothing retailer

ANNE D'INNOCENZIO | Associated Press

NEW YORK – Walmart is buying online men's clothing retailer Bonobos for $310 million in cash, showing that its appetite for hip clothing brands shows no sign of abating as it looks for ways to gain on Amazon.

It's a sign of the aggressive direction Walmart is taking since buying Jet.com last year and keeping that company's founder as head of its online division. Walmart has since bought clothing seller ModCloth, footwear retailer ShoeBuy.com and outdoor gear seller Moosejaw as it focuses on brands appealing to younger shoppers.

Founded in 2007, Bonobos got its start selling dress pants to men and quickly expanded its lineup. While the brand started as an online-only retailer, Dunn began incorporating brick-and-mortar stores into its strategy.

Targeting Bonobos is a good move for Walmart as it tries to compete with Amazon, which has been quickly expanding its clothing business, says internet consultant Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodal.

“If you roll up enough of these online startups, you create a meaningful share” of business, she said. She said Walmart can learn from these millennial customers.

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 CEO and founder Andy Dunn will report to Marc Lore, the CEO of Walmart's U.S. online operations.

“Adding innovators like Andy will continue to help us shape the future of Walmart,” Lore said. “They've created an amazing product and customer experience, and that will not change.”