Walmart gains fashion start-up

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Walmart gains fashion start-up

By Louisa Hallett - 10/02/2018
Eloquii, a four-year-old startup, sells apparel starting at size 14 through its own website and through five of its own stores.

Walmart expands its fashion line-up through the acquisition of Eloquii, a start-up that sells plus-sized clothing.

Eloquii, a four-year-old startup, sells apparel starting at size 14 through its own website and through five of its own stores. Walmart, the world's largest brick-and-mortar retailer, said Eloquii has seen its revenue grow by three times since 2015, without giving more details.

"These customers have been historically underserved, with clothing limited by its lack of fashion, lack of fit, or both," Walmart said.

According to the company, the acquisition of Eloquii will allow Walmart to expand its fashion to the more than half of women ages 18-65 in the US who wear size 14+.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a person familiar with the acquisition said Walmart will pay $100 million for Eloquii, or about 2.5 to three times annual revenue, according to recode. Eloquii Chief Executive Officer Mariah Chase and her 100 employees will join Walmart’s e-commerce division and report to its head of digital consumer brands Andy Dunn, who sold his menswear brand Bonobos to Walmart last year for $310 million.

The Eloquii brand was first created by retail chain The Limited in 2011 but was discontinued a little over a year later. A team of employees with help from an outside investor bought the brand and relaunched it in 2014.

According to Walmart, Eloquii Chief Executive Officer Mariah Chase, the startup's management team and 100 employees will continue to be based in Long Island City, New York, and Columbus, Ohio. They will join Walmart's U.S. e-commerce team, reporting to Andy Dunn, who is the Senior Vice-President of Digital Consumer Brands at Walmart U.S. eCommerce.

Walmart said the deal is expected to close this quarter.