Will its acquisition of ShoeBuy.com boost Walmart’s online performance?
Coming five months after its $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com, Walmart last week snapped up ShoeBuy.com, the online retailer of footwear, apparel and accessories.
At least initially, Jet.com will be the prime beneficiary from the acquisition. The purchase largely mimics Jet.com’s February 2016 acquisition of Hayneedle.com that helped boost its offerings in home categories.
In 2015, apparel and accessories moved ahead of computer hardware to become the top category for e-commerce, according to comScore. According to analysis by Slice Intelligence, Jet.com’s largest categories are electronics, home and kitchen, healthy and beauty and grocery.
ShoeBuy.com will run independently of Jet.com and Walmart.com, but shoe brands that sell on ShoeBuy.com may gain access for sale on the other sites.
“ShoeBuy brings access to a large assortment of products, strong industry relationships and rich content that will further enhance our customer experience,” said Walmart in a statement
The Jet.com acquisition also helped expand Walmart’s reach by attracting “urban Millennials” Walmart.com wasn’t attracting. Walmart has vowed to invest billions building its digital presence while reducing new store openings in a bid to catch up to Amazon.
And it appears the dot.com acquisitions will continue. In an interview with Re/Code, Jet’s founder, Marc Lore, who now runs both Jet.com and Walmart.com, said it’s “a fair assumption” that Jet and Walmart will seek out other mergers, most likely “in the categories where they are long-tail, high-margin products and harder-to-crack brands.”
Helped by the launch of numerous private labels, Amazon.com is making an aggressive push in soft goods. In 2009, it paid $1.2 billion to acquire Zappos, the leading online shoe specialist that generates more than $2 billion in annual sales.
By comparison, Walmart paid only $70 million to acquire ShoeBuy.com. Internet Retailer estimated ShoeBuy.com’s sales were $374.2 million in 2015. Stuart Rose, managing director of investment banking firm Tully & Holland, told Internet Retailer. “I’m not sure ShoeBuy is still growing, and I doubt they were profitable.”
- Jet Announces the Acquisition of ShoeBuy, a Leading Online Footwear Retailer – Walmart
- Boston-based e-commerce site ShoeBuy acquired by Jet.com – The Boston Globe
- Walmart has acquired a Zappos competitor to boost Jet.com’s shoe business – Re/Code
- Wal-Mart buys Shoebuy for $70 million to bolster Jet.com – Internet Retailer
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How well will ShoeBuy.com support Walmart’s online ambitions? How likely is it that acquisitions will play a major role in accelerating Walmart’s online capabilities?