Walmart has made yet another e-commerce purchase, this time buying fast growing outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw for $51 million.
The deal comes only a few weeks after Walmart bought online footwear store ShoeBuy and six months after its $3 billion purchase of jet.com.
Though Moosejaw is a relatively small retailer with 10 stores and a popular website, the attraction for Walmart is the Madison Heights, Michigan-based company’s growth in clothing and accessories, the top online retail category, according to comScore.
Apparel is also an area of intense competition online: Amazon.com is set to overtake Macy’s this year as the top apparel retailer. And the e-commerce giant is reportedly getting ready to sell its own athleisure lines.
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Moosejaw’s growth stands in contrast to a difficult time for outdoor gear stores: the parent of Eastern Mountain Sports recently filed for bankruptcy protection, and Reuters reported earlier this week Gander Mountain was considering doing the same.
Teaming up with Moosejaw will allow Walmart to sell a fuller assortment of apparel, including brands like Patagonia, VF’s The North Face, Marmot and others. In turn, those vendors will have more reach given the additional firepower Walmart and Jet.com will give Moosejaw’s website. Walmart’s online growth has re-accelerated in the last two quarters after slowing to a crawl in the preceding eight.
“We gain the experience of another well-established e-commerce player, this time in the active outdoor category,” said Walmart.com spokesman Ravi Jariwala.As is the case with jet.com, Walmart will let Moosejaw continue to operate its website and stores as a standalone brand in terms of what customers see and still be based in Michigan. But there will be integration of the various sites for things like hipping rates, credit card fees, and transaction processing fees.
Date: February 12, 2017