Walmart announced in a press release published Friday that they have recently acquired trendy online retailer, ModCloth as part of a big push to market through smaller online brands and take on Amazon.
ModCloth and Walmart declined to specify the price on the deal, but said it was in the same range as its previous two purchases of online businesses that ranged between $51 million to $70 million.
ModCloth will continue to operate as a stand-alone online merchant and complementary brand to its other e-commerce sites. Independent designers who currently sell on ModCloth’s site, will gain the opportunity to expand their reach as per the release.
As Amazon takes on new heights to attract customers in a depleting retail market, Walmart is working hard to attract younger and more affluent shoppers. However, winning over ModCloth’s devoted customers and fans of its vintage-inspired patterned dresses, inclusive sizing and community feel, may be a challenge.
Modcloth, which opened in 2002, has always branded itself as a hip, quirky, independent retailer for smart, bookish girls with feminist ideals. While the owner, Susan Gregg Koner took to Facebook to share her excitement, many grew expressed their disappointment, asking how it can still empower, celebrate and inspire women when owned by a company that doesn’t value workers.
it just seems like modcloth would have known that most of their customers pay more attention to business practices?— Lauren Bates (@YAdultescent) March 15, 2017
I've been a frequent @ModCloth customer for so long, but with this Walmart merger I think I may be done. So gross 😒🤦🏻♀️— Jessica Semler (@Jessi_said_what) March 15, 2017
yeah nope I can’t support walmart so goodbye @ModCloth. here’s to hoping I can find somewhere else online to find a comparable selection— Jenna (@gifcompatible) March 15, 2017
I love my #modcloth wardrobe but am super disappointed to find that they joined up with Walmart. Bye bye cute dresses and cat everything.— Kristina Smith (@stashuboo) March 17, 2017