The latest name to become part of the Walmart family is Moosejaw, a Michigan-based retailer of outdoor gear and activewear.While Walmart remains a dominant force in the world of brick and mortar retail, there remains plenty of ground to be made up in the war against Amazon for online retail dominance. To that end, Walmart has made yet another acquisition, the latest in a series of purchases designed to help the venerable retailer close the gap.
As Forbes shares, the latest name to become part of the Walmart family is Moosejaw, a Michigan-based retailer of outdoor gear and activewear that Walmart was able to snap up for a cool $51 million. The acquisition of Moosejaw immediately gives Walmart a substantial presence in the category, which has seen a ton of mergers and attrition in recent times.
"Apparel and accessories are now the number one category for digital commerce, according to comScore, and we gain the experience of another well-established e-commerce player, this time in the active outdoor group," a statement from Walmart read in part.
Moosejaw was founded in 1992 by Robert Wolfe and David Jaffe, and it has grown to an organization with more than 350 employees. The company mainly focuses on online sales as it has only ten physical stores, but it carries more than 400 different brands of apparel in addition to outdoor gear. That immediately positions Walmart to become a major player in the category, which is still reeling from last year’s surprise liquidation of Sports Authority.
"Moosejaw has a large assortment of specialty apparel and accessories, strong industry relationships, and rich product content. Their expertise will help us further enhance our customer experience," the statement continued.
Initial plans call for Moosejaw to remain as a standalone entity with its online platform, but we’ll have to wait and see how that plays out. Walmart clearly has its sights set on growing its presence in the eCommerce arena, as this acquisition is just the latest in the past year. Just last month, the retailing giant acquired ShoeBuy for $70 million via its subsidiary, Jet.com, which it purchased last summer in a huge deal that checked in with a price tag of more than $3 billion.
Add it all up, and Walmart hopes to make a dent in the substantial advantage Amazon holds in the area of online sales. For the year ending 2015, Amazon’s online sales checked in at a staggering $107 billion, while Walmart lagged severely behind at $13.7 billion. The company has previously come clean on the fact that it missed the boat on the online shopping boom, as former chief executive Mike Duke pointed out in a 2012 interview.
“I wish we had moved faster. We’ve proven ourselves to be successful in many areas, and I simply wonder why we didn’t move more quickly. This is especially true for e-commerce,” he said.