Earlier this week, ModCloth, the beloved online retailer known for its inclusive and playful perspective on fashion, was expected to announce that it had been bought by e-commerce site Jet, as Jezebel first reported. The news surprised many and was allegedly not well-received by employees because it meant that, technically, ModCloth would now be owned by Jet's parent company, Walmart Inc. — a corporation that has repeatedly been scrutinized for its treatment of employees. This concern is apparently shared by the fashion brand's loyal customer base: ModCloth fans are taking to social media to share their worries about — and, in some cases, disappointment with — the reported business acquisition, according to Quartz.
A lot of the initial concerns stem from what many consider to be a glaring disconnect between ModCloth's values and Walmart's practices. To wit: The former embraces women of all shapes and sizes, while the latter notoriously had a Halloween-centric section dubbed "Fat Girl Costumes" back in 2014. Also, there's a huge discrepancy in how each company has addressed gender discrimination issues in the past. Walmart has also been the subject of boycotts over the years, leading some to wonder what that will mean for ModCloth, an indie label that, if the acquisition reports are true, will now be associated with the big-box retailer.
Walmart Inc. is expected to pay between $50 million and $75 million for ModCloth — less than what the fashion company got in the past from rounds of investing, according to Recode. This comes after what Jezebel has dubbed a rough few years for the brand, following reports of layoffs.
We've reached out to Modcloth and Jet for comment, and will update our story when we hear back.