Walmart Acquires Plus-sized Clothing Startup Eloquii

Walmart Inc. on Oct. 2 said it will acquire Eloquii, a fashion startup that sells plus-sized clothing, for an undisclosed amount as it continues to look for ways to appeal to younger shoppers and differentiate itself from rival Inc.

Eloquii, a four-year-old startup, sells apparel starting at size 14 through its own website and through five of its own stores. Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, said Eloquii has seen its revenue grow by three times since 2015, without giving more details.

Plus-size apparel is part of a $21 billion market and represents one of the fastest growing segments in women’s apparel, Walmart said in a statement. More than half of women between the ages of 18 to 65 in the United States wear size 14 or higher, the retailer said.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jennifer Sherman, SVP of Product & Strategy, Kibo, noted: “The deal makes perfect sense for Walmart or any other retailer trying to capture part of a fast-growing market," she says. “The US plus-sized fashion market is growing at a CAGR of 5.3 percent, that’s 3.6x faster than the rest of the women’s apparel market. 

"Coresight research estimates that the U.S. plus-sized apparel market is about $46B today with potential to grow to $60B by 2020.  With this acquisition, Walmart is buying an established brand in a space that is growing faster than most of its other segments and offerings.

"As well, Walmart will also bring something to Eloquii that they haven’t had since The Limited divested the organization – physical stores."

(The Eloquii brand was first created by retail chain The Limited in 2011 but was discontinued a little over a year later. A team of employees with help from an outside investor bought the brand and relaunched it in 2014.)

"Today Eloquii has five stores," Sherman continued. "In an industry that has historically failed to focus on and cater to the unique body shapes that today’s women have, the option to buy online and pick up in store and therefore verify the fit is critical. With this acquisition, a larger segment of women will now have local stores as a shopping option, where they can try on Eloquii clothes and find the right fit before committing their funds. 

"This move is great for Walmart and great for the women of America,” said Sherman. 

Walmart said the deal is expected to close this quarter.