- Walmart is acquiring women’s plus-size retailer Eloquii, it announced on Tuesday.
- It did not disclose pricing details, but sources familiar with the matter told Recode that Walmart will pay $US100 million for the company.
- Women’s plus-size apparel is a big business. It generates $US21.4 billion of annual sales in the United States and is growing faster than the country’s overall apparel market, according to the NPD Group.
Walmart wants in on the plus-size market.
On Tuesday, it announced that it would be acquiring Eloquii, a women’s fashion brand that is targeted exclusively at plus-size shoppers. The company 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.
Walmart would not disclose pricing details to Business Insider. However, sources familiar with the matter told Recode that Walmart will pay $US100 million for the brand, which is nearly three times Eloquii’s annual revenue.
Women’s plus-size apparel is a big business. It generates $US21.4 billion of annual sales in the US and is growing faster than the country’s overall apparel market, according to the NPD Group. Last year it grew 6%, far outpacing sales of women’s apparel in general.
Eloquii is considered to be one of the leading players in this space and has been doubling its sales every year since 2014, reaching around $US80 million for fiscal 2017, according to MarketWatch. While Walmart does currently sell plus-size clothing, this acquisition gives it access to a new customer base. Eloquii’s CEO, Mariah Chase, will be staying on at the brand.
It also fits neatly into Walmart’s strategy to improve its fashion shopping experience online and in its stores.
“While we know we are servicing the customer well on consumables, we haven’t had that offering on the fashion side, and our customers are asking for it,” Denise Incandela, Walmart’s head of online fashion, said in a presentation at the WWD Digital Forum in New York City in September.
Incandela, who has more than 20 years of experience working in luxury retail at Saks Fifth Avenue and Ralph Lauren, was hired by Walmart to grow its fashion business in 2017.
Its big push into apparel comes as its biggest online competitor, Amazon, is making strides in the space. While Walmart was the leading US apparel retailer in 2017, analysts are expecting it to be unseated by Amazon by the end of 2018.
Walmart acquired ModCloth and Bonobos in 2017.
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