Walmart sells ModCloth, seeks Jetblack spinoff and cuts Bonobos jobs
Walmart’s e-commerce business, as previously reported, is in a state of flux. That was made even more evident with news in recent days that the retailer has sold its ModCloth business, is looking to spin off its Jetblack personal shopping service and has laid off workers at Bonobos.
In the case of ModCloth, it appears as though the e-tailer, known for selling vintage-inspired clothing for women of all shapes and sizes, has never really been a fit for Walmart and has struggled in the two years since it was acquired. Now, ModCloth becomes the property of the investment firm, Go Global Retail. The new owner has pledged to let ModCloth continue operating independently.
As the ModCloth sale was being announced, The Wall Street Journal reported Walmart looking to sell its Jetblack personal shopping service operating in New York City and led by Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss. The Walmart division has been losing around $15,000 annually for each member of the subscription service. The Journal reports that Walmart has been looking for partners, including Microsoft and UPS, in a spinoff of Jetblack.
Recode reports that Bonobos, which Walmart acquired two years ago for $300 million, laid off “dozens” of its employees yesterday as part of its parent company’s efforts to rein in costs of its digital operations. In July, Walmart announced it was integrating its physical and digital finance and supply chain teams.
- Walmart sells ModCloth just two years after buying it – The Verge
- Walmart Seeks Outside Investors for Jetblack – The Wall Street Journal
- Walmart paid $300 million for Bonobos. Two years later, the men’s fashion brand is laying off staff. – Recode
- Walmart shakes things up, further integrating online and physical store teams – RetailWire
- Will Walmart have more success creating consumer direct brands than acquiring them? – RetailWire
- Is Walmart at an online crossroads? – RetailWire
- What will Walmart do with its newest acquisition, ModCloth? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your take on the current state of Walmart’s digital operations? Where do you see it a year from now?