Walmart is upping its fashion game with an acquisition.
The retail behemoth recently purchased indie fashion etailer ModCloth for its Jet.com subsidiary, reports Jezebel. The move gives the company instant fashion cred among the smart, stylish women that flock to ModCloth for vintage-inspired, quirky styles.
According to the news site, employees were informed by CEO Matthew Kaness on Wednesday at an all-hands meeting. The deal is expected to close today with a public announcement to follow.
Now, the question becomes can Jet.com tap into the attributes that have garnered ModCloth a devoted fan following, or will ModCloth lose its homespun, approachable feel in the deal?
ModCloth is known for having a great relationship with its fans. The site regularly solicits design inspiration and buying advice from its followers, offers inclusive images on its site, provides personable insights into its staff and their pets, and has a knack for using social to connect with consumers based on their interests. For instance, once the company noted how many of their fans are avid readers, it launched a Good Reads book review account.
ModCloth has also had success with product expansions, which have included private label lines, plus-size fashions and children’s wear collaborations.
ModCloth was launched in 2002 by Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger while they were in college. And today, the site employees more than 350 employees, according to the site. The company also just launched its first brick-and-mortar location in Austin, Texas.
With the acquisition of Jet.com over the summer, Walmart signaled its intention to be a major force in ecommerce and to better positioned to compete with established competitors like Amazon.
“Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, at the time of the deal.
ModCloth is the latest piece of the puzzle for Jet.com, which recently acquired footwear retailer Shoebuy for $70 million and outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51 million.
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