Walmart continues its eCommerce shopping spree, this time with the purchase of fast-growing outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw for $51 million. The deal comes only a few weeks after Walmart bought online footwear store ShoeBuy and six months after its purchase of Jet.com.
Fortune reported that, while Moosejaw is a relatively small retailer — it has only 10 stores and a popular website — the attraction for Walmart is the company’s growth in clothing and accessories, the top online retail category. And while it’s been a tough time for outdoor gear stores (Eastern Mountain Sports recently filed for bankruptcy protection, and there are rumors that Gander Mountain might do the same), Moosejaw’s steady growth made it an attractive buy for Walmart.
Apparel is an area of intense competition online, with Amazon poised to overtake Macy’s this year as the top apparel retailer. Teaming up with Moosejaw will allow Walmart to sell a fuller assortment of apparel, including brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot and others. In turn, those vendors will have more reach given the additional firepower Walmart and Jet.com will give Moosejaw’s website.
Much like the deal with Jet.com, Walmart will allow Moosejaw to continue to operate its website and stores as a standalone brand and remain based in its Madison Heights, Michigan location. However, there will be integration of the various sites for things like hipping rates, credit card fees and transaction processing fees. Walmart’s online growth has re-accelerated in the last two quarters after a slow preceding eight.
“We gain the experience of another well-established eCommerce player, this time in the active outdoor category,” said Walmart.com spokesman Ravi Jariwala.