Walmart Buys Bare Necessities, the Latest in a String of Apparel Acquisitions
Walmart on Friday announced that it has acquired intimates brand Bare Necessities, the latest of a flurry of investments the mega retailer has been making in the digital fashion space.
“The acquisition of Bare Necessities fits well into our broader acquisition strategy, which includes two different types of companies: category leaders … and digital brands that offer unique products,” Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Walmart U.S. eCommerce, said in a blog post.
Just a week before, the retailer bought Eloquii, a startup that sells plus-sized apparel. Walmart has also acquired apparel brands Bonobos, Modcloth, Moosejaw, Hayneedle, and Shoes.com in the last year and a half.
In July, Walmart eCommerce president and CEO Marc Lore, told attendees of Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference that bringing new brands into the organization is a major part of the company’s three-pronged growth strategy.
“We’re thinking about how to build companies that can shape the future of retail, not today, but five or ten years into the future,” he said. In a world where, “everyone now sells everything,” added Lore, “assortment is sort of the next big frontier.”
Walmart is attempting to differentiate itself in this increasingly chaotic retail environment by acquiring products that can’t be found anywhere but Walmart, especially those that particularly resonate with millennial shoppers, he said.
The company says Bare Necessities will bring a deep expertise of the intimates business, a market that’s driven largely by online sales and could be worth as much as $59 billion by 2024, according to Zion Market Research.
Along with buying brands, the retailer is exploring new partnerships in fashion, including the EV1 clothing line from Ellen Degeneres that debuted in September and the Lord & Taylor section of Walmart.com which launched in 2017.
Bare Necessities co-founder, Noah Wrubel, will join Walmart as the head of intimates alongside his role as Bare Necessities CEO.
The Bare Necessities website will continue to operate separately, though Walmart says some products may be added to their e-commerce sites Walmart.com and Jet.com over time.