Walmart has acquired leading outdoor retailer Moosejaw for approximately $51 million in an all-cash deal. The retail giant said Madison Heights, Mich.-based Moosejaw, which sells more than 400 brands, will keep operating its site and 10 brick-and-mortar stores. Its 350-plus employees will stay based in Michigan, at least for now.
Considering Moosejaw’s robust online business and IT assets, the move is apparently part of Walmart’s efforts to keep pace with online leader Amazon.com. Wal-Mart said buying Moosejaw gives it the experience of another well-established e-commerce player with strong industry relationships.
“Apparel and accessories is now the number one category for digital commerce, according to comScore Inc., and we gain the experience of another well-established e-commerce player, this time in the active outdoor category,” Walmart’s statement said.
Moosejaw will be Wal-Mart’s third acquisition in just over six months. In August 2016, the world’s largest retailer paid more than $3 billion to acquire online startup Jet.com and in late December, Jet.com acquired online footwear retailer ShoeBuy for approximately $70 million.
Walmart reportedly has been working aggressively to close the gap with rival Amazon.com. under the leadership of CEO Doug McMillon and new e-commerce chief Marc Lore. In October it said it will slow the pace of new store openings to focus on expanding its e-commerce business. Currently, its online sales account for about 3 percent of total sales. Amazon’s market value is now about $356 billion, compared with Walmart’s $298 billion.
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