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E-commerce

Will Walmart buy Bonobos?

Walmart has acquired three e-commerce companies in the past seven months and may be looking to make it four, with the company reportedly in advanced talks to buy the online menswear retailer Bonobos.

Recode reports that the two sides have agreed on a price – though the figure was not disclosed – and say the deal is in its final due diligence stages.

Walmart has been on an e-commerce shopping spree, picking up ShoeBuy, Moosejaw and Modcloth, since Jet.com CEO Marc Lore joined the US retail giant last year.

If the Bonobos acquisition goes ahead, it will likely be Walmart’s biggest e-commerce acquisition to date. The online retailer, which ships to a handful of countries outside the US, including Australia, has between US$100-150 million in annual revenue.

Andy Dunn founded Bonobos in 2007 as a pureplay online retailer specialising in dress pants designed to fit athletic men. Since then, it has expanded into new categories, such as dress shirts, suits and outerwear, and opened 30 bricks-and-mortar stores called Guideshops, where customers can get fitted and place orders to be delivered to their homes.

Bonobos has also started to sell through US department store Nordstrom, which is an investor, but its appeal likely lies in its experience as a digital native retailer, a crucial asset as Walmart aims to go toe-to-toe with Amazon.

In line with this strategy, the US retail giant has kept the CEOs of all three previous acquisitions on board, and analysts expect it will do the same with Dunn.

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