Walmart has sold Eloquii, an online apparel brand, to FullBeauty Brands, making it the third direct-to-consumer brand the retailer has divested this year. In February, Walmart sold Moosejaw to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and earlier this month, it sold Bonobos to WHP Global and Express. These divestitures represent a reversal of the 2017-18 strategy led by Marc Lore, Walmart’s former head of e-commerce.
In 2018, Walmart acquired Eloquii for $100 million as part of its strategy to build out its online assortment with higher-margin apparel and home merchandise, and to bring in talent that could help Walmart accelerate its digital strategy. However, the retailer has decided to sell Eloquii, which has a loyal consumer base and is part of the growing plus-size apparel market.
FullBeauty Brands’ Plans for Eloquii
FullBeauty Brands, which has 5 million active customers, plans for Eloquii to be an anchor in its “digital mall” and help it gain a foothold with millennial and Gen Z consumers. The profitable FullBeauty Brands has annual revenue of $1 billion, a small slice of the $81 billion total addressable market for plus-size apparel. FullBeauty Brands CEO Jim Fogarty said Eloquii is “very data-driven” and “very fast to market,” and that the company plans to learn from Eloquii’s business.
After acquiring Eloquii, Walmart created a new brand of inclusive-sized apparel, which it will continue to sell after the divestiture. Walmart’s e-commerce goals have shifted from growing the number of available items to improving the financials of the digital business, according to executives. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the focus is now on execution and operating margin improvement.
While Lore left Walmart in 2021 after five years, his contributions significantly transformed the retailer’s e-commerce business, including fulfillment operations, shopper delivery options, and speed. His efforts boosted the number of products sold online from 70 million to “hundreds of millions” today. Walmart’s online sales now make up 13% of total annual sales, as of its most recent fiscal year-end, up from 5% in 2019.
Walmart has divested several other Lore-led acquisitions in recent years, including Modcloth, Bare Necessities, and ShoeBuy. Despite some unsuccessful ventures, Lore’s efforts have significantly impacted Walmart’s e-commerce business.
Leave a Reply