Walmart is acquiring a plus-size store with a cult following — and some customers are furious

Facebook/EloquiiEloquii has a cult following of fans.

  • Walmart announced it is acquiring women’s plus-size retailer Eloquii on Tuesday.
  • Eloquii fans have taken to social media to show their disdain and said that they will no longer shop the brand.
  • Walmart experienced a similar backlash after it acquired trendy startups Bonobos and ModCloth last year.

Walmart just announced it’s buying a trendy plus-size retailer, but some shoppers aren’t too happy about it.

On Tuesday morning, Eloquii, a women’s fashion brand that is targeted at plus-size shoppers, became the latest retailer to join Walmart’s empire.

It joins a collection of trendy brands such as Bonobos and ModCloth that have recently been acquired by Walmart as it attempts to broaden its fashion assortment and reach a new customer base.

Walmart did not disclose how much it will pay for Eloquii, but sources familiar with the matter told Recode that the purchase price was $US100 million.

Eloquii was founded in 2011 as part of The Limited but relaunched online as an independent brand in 2014. Since then, it has opened five stores across the United States and has doubled sales every year, reaching around $US80 million for fiscal 2017, according to MarketWatch.

Eloquii has become one of the leading players in a market that is known for being underserved. Women’s plus-size apparel generates $US21.4 billion in annual sales in the US and is growing faster than the country’s overall apparel market, according to the NPD Group. However, plus-size shoppers frequently criticise many of the US’ national retailers for not offering a wider range of sizes.

Eloquii has gained a cult following by offering on-trend, fast-fashion clothing.

On Tuesday, some fans took to social media to show their disdain for the new deal, arguing that Eloquii’s values are at odds with Walmart’s. Some specifically criticised Walmart’s history of paying workers low wages. In January, Walmart made headlines when it raised its minimum wage to $US11 per hour.

Walmart experienced a similar backlash after it announced it would be acquiring ModCloth in 2017.

“#modcloth died today. It killed itself. Death by #walmart,” one person wrote on Twitter at the time.

“I will not support [Walmart] as they are a horrible company that I have not shopped at because of their practices,” another customer wrote on ModCloth’s Facebook page in May 2017. “You were inclusive, unique and independent. You are selling out to a company that has policies to keep their employees on government assistance. I will not support them.”

While ModCloth and Bonobos have not revealed sales numbers, management told Quartz that sales and traffic to their sites have increased since they were acquired by Walmart.

And not everyone was outraged by the Eloquii deal.

https://twitter.com/nme421/status/1047190019356676096?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.