Walmart has acquired Eloquii, a plus-sized fashion retailer, marking yet another business the retail giant can add to its collection of digitally native brands. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but Eloquii is reportedly valued at roughly $100 million, according to CNBC.
With the acquisition, Walmart is making a play into a plus-size fashion market that has plenty of room for growth. The women’s plus-size market reached $21.4 billion in 2016 — less than half of its market potential of $46 billion, according to Coresight Research.The market value for women’s plus-size clothing rose 23% per year between 2012 and 2016, more than double the 9.9% growth for apparel overall.
“Today, more than half of women age 18-65 in the U.S. wear size 14+,” wrote Andy Dunn, Senior VP of Digital Consumer Brands, Walmart U.S. eCommerce in a blog post. “We know they’re looking not just for basics, but also for on-trend pieces that allow them to express their individuality. This is a segment of the market that has been historically underserved and neglected. We believe she deserves better.”
Depending on the acquisition price, the deal could serve as a growth driver for the plus-size market overall.
“On the investor side, we’ve seen a lot of capital flow into plus-sized brands, and although the total hasn’t been revealed, this is certainly the largest acquisition in this space as of late,” said Jonathan Smalley, CEO and Founder of Yaguara, a growth management platform provider for e-Commerce companies, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “It will be interesting to see how this affects the private side of the market after this funding. Will we see more capital going into the space since there’s some appetite for acquisition, or will we see that slow down since…