Walmart, through a series of recent acquisitions, is gunning to make up for lost time in a race against Amazon to flesh out its fashion business. Customers on social media weren’t pleased with the news.
But the company’s corporate overtaking of formerly independent brands is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of customers.
Its latest target: Bonobos, the menswear retailer that specializes in affordably priced, upscale suits in the $500 range — they’re currently sold online, through showrooms and at Nordstrom. Walmart is reportedly in talks to purchase the company for $300 million. Bonobos, founded in 2007, has raised nearly $130 million in venture capital and reportedly brought in about $150 million in revenue in 2016.
Word of the potential acquisition comes one month after Jet.com, the Walmart-owned e-commerce marketplace, confirmed its purchase of indie fashion retailer ModCloth in a $50-75 million deal. For ModCloth customers — who embraced the brand for its inclusion of plus-size customers and models, and outspoken approach to women’s rights — the acquisition symbolized a capitalistic squash of a business’s feminist identity.
“There’s always a risk of losing loyal customers when companies merge for business practicalities instead of business philosophies,” said Chris Plating, svp of planning at the agency Erwin Penland. “If the outcome of the acquisition doesn’t honor existing consumer expectations, it could lead to disaster amongst loyal consumers.”
If your favorite store got acquired would you still plead alegiance? Would you seek out to find new favorites amongst its competition?
- How 3D Body Scanning Helps Some Health Clubs Keep Members Engaged
- OpEd: Beauty Apps Are Selling Us Instant Makeovers — But Is Anyone Buying the Actual Makeup?
- How Viacom casts influencers in 90 percent of its campaigns
- Scotch brand Macallan has a new touchable video
- Robots in the cloud: How robotics-as-a-service can help your business