Why Walmart acquired online specialist ShoeBuy

Date : 06 January 2017

Walmart’s subsidiary, Jet.com, has acquired online footwear specialist ShoeBuy in a $70m deal.

Provides access to enhanced range of products

ShoeBuy was one of the first retailers to enter the online footwear space, and currently offers over 1m items across 800 brands, including clothing and accessories. While the business will continue to operate as a standalone site, it will provide Jet with access to an enhanced range of products and established industry relationships. ShoeBuy’s CEO, Mike Sorabella, his executive team and 200-plus employees will join Walmart’s ecommerce business, although it will maintain its office in Boston.

Accelerates Walmart’s ecommerce growth

This acquisition comes not long after Jet.com was itself acquired by Walmart, with the deal completed last September. Both acquisitions accelerate Walmart’s ecommerce business in the US, further boosting its offer, with the number of items more than doubling over the last six months to over 16m. This growth has been supported by a new dedicated fulfilment network and the expansion and enhancement of the retailer’s store pick-up program.

Brings new capabilities into the organisation

Both acquisitions also demonstrate Walmart’s determination to build a leading position in the ecommerce channel through bringing new capabilities into the organisation. While the deal with Jet.com has provided Walmart with access to its proprietary technology and dynamic pricing mode, Walmart will leverage ShoeBuy’s best practices in building a unique customer experience. In addition, both deals also enable Walmart to reach new shopper groups, particularly millennials, a key target segment for the retailer online.

Stewart Samuel, Program Director, IGD Canada
Based in Canada, Stewart heads up all of IGD's research and coverage on Walmart globally. He is also responsible for shaping IGD's research program across North America. Contact Stewart at [email protected] for further insight on the region.

Twitter: @Stewart_IGD