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10/14/2018

Walmart acquires online intimates retailer Bare Necessities

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Walmart has added a leading women’s lingerie brand to its growing brand portfolio.

The discounter announced it is acquiring Bare Necessities, which offers more than 100,000 SKUs from more than 160 brands, including an extensive assortment of bras, swimwear, shapewear and sleepwear. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“Intimates, a category that has been aggressively growing online, has complex sizing and highly specialized products,” said Denise Incandela, head of fashion, Walmart U.S. eCommerce. “Bare Necessities will bring deep category expertise, a content offering designed to educate intimates shoppers, as well as strong brand relationships and operational capabilities.”

Founded in 1998, Bare Necessities will continue to operate its site, running as a standalone and complementary brand to Walmart’s other e-commerce sites. The discounter said that over time (and for those brands that want to serve additional customers) it will integrate the Bare Necessities’ assortment onto Walmart.com and Jet.com.

As part of the acquisition, Noah Wrubel, CEO and co-founder of Bare Necessities, will lead the intimates category for both Walmart.com and Jet.com. He will also continue to run Bare Necessities.

The Bare Necessities acquisition is the latest in a series of brands that Walmart has acquired in recent years since its purchase of Jet.com in 2016. It comes on the heels of Walmart’s purchase of Eloquii, a plus-size, trend-driven women’s apparel brand. The discounter has also been expanding its lineup of private brands, most recently launching an apparel line in collaboration with Ellen DeGeneres.

Walmart noted that Bare Necessities fits well into its broader acquisition strategy, which includes two different types of companies. This includes category leaders such as Hayneedle and Shoes.com that come with specialized expertise and assortment that can help enhance the customer experience on Walmart.com and Jet.com, and digital brands that offer unique products customers can’t find anywhere else, such as Bonobos and Modcloth. “Bare Necessities fits into the former,” said Incandela.

In a blog post on its site, Bare Necessities addressed the purchase with the question, “You may be wondering: “Why Walmart?”

“Walmart has done a lot over the past year to establish itself as a destination for fashion, from acquiring specialty retailer and digitally native brands, to aggressively expanding its fashion assortment,” the company stated. “As we began conversations with their team, we realized how much we had in common around customer commitment, and that we could do even more if we combine our expertise in intimates with Walmart’s deep resources, scale and relationships. Here’s our promise – the shopping experience you know us for won’t be changing. (Don’t worry – our Bra Fit Experts will still be on call). In fact, this is just the beginning and it’s only going to get better.”