Apr 24, 2023 - Economy

Walmart keeps selling, as retail M&A picks up

Illustration of a dollar sign peeking out of a tractor trailer.

Photo Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios. Photo: George Frey/Getty

The retail industry represented a paltry 2.2% of global M&A market share in Q1 2023, but is set to make more headlines this quarter.

Driving the news: Walmart continues to unwind Marc Lore's DTC buying spree, selling two more companies in just the past week.

  • Eloquii, a plus-sized fashion brand purchased in 2018 for $100 million, was sold to FullBeauty Brands for an undisclosed amount.
  • Bonobos, a menswear brand acquired in 2017 for $310 million, was sold to WHP Global and Express for $75 million.
  • This follows recent Walmart divestitures of Art.com (to Trends International) and Moosejaw (to Dick's Sporting Goods), plus the shuttering of Jet.com and sales of Modcloth and Bare Necessities.

Elsewhere: Salt Lake City-based convenience store chain Maverik on Friday agreed to buy Iowa-based rival Kum & Go. No financial terms were disclosed, but earlier reports suggested that Kum & Go's founding family was seeking $2 billion.

  • Subway keeps inching toward a $10 billion sale, with Sky News reporting that three private equity firms are working on a joint offer.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond yesterday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and said it will liquidate unless it can find a last-minute buyer. It becomes the second big-box retailer in the bankruptcy bin, following last week's David's Bridal news.
  • Authentic Brands this morning agreed to buy the IP of listed fashion brand Vince, in exchange for $76.5 million in cash and a 25% stake in the newly formed subsidiary.

The bottom line: Yes, lots of the deals — and potential deals — are coming from a position of weakness. But that's when bargain hunters prefer to shop.

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