Exit: Walmart acquires the plus-sized direct-to-consumer startup ELOQUII
Long Island City/NY, October 02, 2018 – Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, has announced plans to acquire ELOQUII, a digitally native vertical brand focused exclusively on the $21B women’s plus-size market. ELOQUII will join a portfolio of Walmart brands run by Bonobos founder Andy Dunn. The closing of the transaction is still subject to certain closing conditions and is expected by the end of October. The ELOQUII management and leadership team, including CEO Mariah Chase, will remain on board.
Plus-size women’s apparel is a $21bn market and represents one of the fastest growing segments in women’s apparel. Founded in 2011 as part of The Limited, ELOQUII re-launched online in 2014 as an independent direct-to-consumer brand. Backed by Acton Capital since 2016, the four-year-old direct-to-consumer startup headquartered in New York City, makes and sells its own line of plus-sized women’s fashion primarily through its own website. Meanwhile, ELOQUII also sells through five of its own stores in the US, as well as online services like Dia&Co and Stitch Fix.
“Today, more than half of US women wear size 14+. However, these customers have been historically underserved.”
Jan-Gisbert Schultze, Managing Partner at Acton Capital
The strong fashion and retail competence of the ELOQUII team combined with the very sizable and above average growing fashion market for plus size women set the stage for interest from major strategic investors,” says Jan-Gisbert Schultze from ELOQUII-investor Acton Capital.
CEO Mariah Chase, the startup’s management team and 100 employees will keep their base/headquarter in Long Island City, New York, and Columbus, Ohio. They will join Walmart’s e-commerce team, reporting to Andy Dunn, co-founder of menswear brand Bonobos, who is the Senior Vice-President of Digital Consumer Brands at Walmart U.S. eCommerce.
„What makes a digital brand like ELOQUII great is how it converts a pain point in the market into a source of delight for the customer. It means creating real connections with people, building a spirited and interactive following, and offering customers an experience they can’t get anywhere else. It means offering a broad and growing range of great products for that customer and fundamentally elevating how they are served both online and offline. ELOQUII allows us to do all these things. I’m so excited to welcome them to our team and look forward to amplifying the ELOQUII experience even further,” explains Andy Dunn.