Bonobos is one of the first apparel brands to launch and build its business primarily online. It began internet-based operations in 2007 and opened its first shop in 2011.
Wal-Mart is the world’s largest physical retailer, but it has been building out an online fashion business as well. It acquired outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51 million in February and ModCloth in March for between a reported $50 million and $75 million. It then acquired ShoeBuy for $70 million in late December. In a statement, Wal-Mart said the Bonobos deal is part of this broader e-commerce strategy.
Under the deal, the founder and CEO of Bonobos, Andy Dunn, will oversee Bonobos and ModCloth. He will report to Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart.com. ModCloth is Wal-Mart’s collection of digitally-native brands.
“Adding innovators like Andy will continue to help us shape the future of Wal-Mart, and the future of retail,” Wal-Mart’s Lore said in a statement. Bonobos raised $128 million in a 2014 financing round, and, despite rumors that an initial public offering was in the works, never followed through with one.
Wal-Mart said its e-commerce sales were up 64% last quarter, with “the majority coming from organic growth in Walmart.com.”
“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,” Dunn said in a statement. “We are excited about applying all that we have learned to help shepherd in the next era of retail.”
The transaction is expected to close toward the end of the second quarter or the beginning of the third quarter of this fiscal year, the companies said.