Retail superpower Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), intent on competing with Amazon, has acquired a major online shoe retailer via a subsidiary, it announced yesterday.
Walmart-owned Jet.com bought ShoeBuy for $70 million, in a move that mirrors Amazon’s big acquisition of Zappos several years ago. That purchase put Amazon front-and-center in the online shoe world, and WMT is now clearly wants to enjoy similar positioning. From CNET:
Jet said it bought ShoeBuy through its parent Walmart from media and internet company IAC, in a deal that closed Dec. 30. It said ShoeBuy is a leading online seller of shoes, clothes and accessories, stocking more than a million items.
ShoeBuy will operate as a standalone site, but its suppliers have the option of expanding to sales on Jet too, the company said. ShoeBuy CEO Mike Sorabella, his executive team and the company’s more than 200 employees will continue to be based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Walmart acquired online retailer Jet.com last year for $3.3 billion, proving that online expansion was its main priority. It plans to invest billions more into e-commerce, while correspondingly slowing its new store openings.
Wal-Mart shares were unchanged in premarket trading Friday. Year-to-date, WMT has gained 0.13%, versus a 1.28% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.