On Tuesday, Walmart announced that it would be acquiring Eloquii. As the retailer continues to pursue the next generation of customers who favor shopping online versus heading to the nearest mall, it's plus-size start-ups like Eloquii, as well as ModCloth and Bonobos, both of which Walmart already owns, that appeal the most. The deal is set to be finalized later this year for an undisclosed amount.
So, what does this mean for the four-year-old plus-size fashion e-tailer? A lot of good things, actually. For starters, "not much" is changing, according to a blog post written by the brand. "Walmart loves that the way we approach design, quality, fit, and fashion are brand non-negotiables [sic] and will always be at the heart of what we do," Eloquii wrote to its customers. "We’re the same Eloquii team producing the new fashion you know and love — just with a new parent." The new ownership will allow Eloquii to expand its business, increase its operational leverage, and improve its quality — which also means more pop-ups and potential brick-and-mortar locations.
Founded under The Limited in 2011, Eloquii was discontinued and relaunched four years ago as an independent company and has provided fashion for women between sizes 14 and 28 ever since. According to Walmart's findings, Eloquii has seen 3x continued revenue growth since 2015 in the plus-size fashion market, which is valued at $21 billion. Though similar, Eloquii and ModCloth have no plans yet of collaborating. "We are laser focused on developing a portfolio of direct to consumer brands with a unique assortment you can't find anywhere else," senior vice-president of digital consumer brands at Walmart US e-commerce Andy Dunn said in a statement.
As Walmart increases its e-commerce presence, it continues to separate itself from other major online destinations like Amazon and Google Shopping. Most importantly, its acquisition of Eloquii, which sees the digitally-native fashion brand join other direct-to-consumer, tech-driven fashion labels like Jet.com and Allswell, will help get accessible fashion into the hands of women everywhere.