Late last week, Walmart welcomed the latest e-commerce company into its portfolio: Bare Necessities. The big-box retailer on Friday announced its acquisition of the 20-year-old online intimates brand, according to a press release.
For Walmart, the deal will bring in category expertise. Meanwhile, Bare Necessities will continue to operate as a standalone brand, and over time the assortment will be added to Walmart.com and Jet.com, the companies said.
Bare Necessities CEO and co-founder Noah Wrubel will continue to lead the company, as well as the intimates category at Walmart.com and Jet.com, the companies said.
Walmart is back on a shopping spree. Since the 2016 acquisition of Jet.com (and acqui-hire of Marc Lore), the company has steadily amassed a trendy, digital portfolio of e-commerce brands, including the likes of Bonobos, Modcloth, Moosejaw and Shoes.com. Earlier this month, the company bought plus brand Eloquii for what sources have told Recode was a $100 million deal.
It doesn't come as a surprise that Walmart is expanding that portfolio. In fact, at the ShopTalk retail conference in March, Walmart CEO of U.S. eCommerce Marc Lore said the company was "talking to more companies right now than we ever have," adding that the company was looking for the best opportunities.
The acquisition of Bare Necessities, much like Eloquii, fits into Walmart's overall digital plan in a few key ways. According to the company, deals focus on two different types of companies: the first being category leaders with specialized expertise and assortment (like Moosejaw, Hayneedle and Shoes.com) and the second being digital brands that offer unique products (think Bonobos, Modcloth and Eloquii). Bare Necessities fits into the first bucket, considering its niche in intimates and swimwear. It will also bring in "strong brand relationships and operational capabilities."
With each deal, Walmart acquires a brand as well as new institutional knowledge of a specific category or concept. With this buy, Walmart signals it's pushing into the increasingly competitive lingerie market. Lingerie is anticipated to bring in more than $60 billion in revenue by 2024, according to a report published this summer by Zion Market Research.
While category leaders like Victoria's Secret have stalled out in recent years, digitally native direct-to-consumer brands like ThirdLove and Adoreme have risen in popularity.