How Will Walmart’s Latest Acquisition Affect the Sports and Outdoors Industry?
Walmart recently acquired Moosejaw for a cool $51 million. But unlike your typical acquisition, the Michigan-based mountaineering brand will continue to run as a standalone brand.
While the deal is still in its infancy, Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford thinks it spells nothing but good news for the outdoors company’s growth. “It’s extremely important for us that we maintain our culture and brand style,” Comerford said. “That’s a key reason [Walmart is] acquiring Moosejaw, because of that unique voice and unique culture.
What’s in it for Moosejaw
“What’s so exciting about Walmart’s investment in Moosejaw is that it will allow us to take the outdoor active message to a much, much wider audience,” continued Comerford in an email. “Whether that be through Moosejaw, Jet.com, Walmart.com or Shoebuy.com… especially since we will be overseeing the outdoor vertical across all of those properties.”
While the company feels optimistic, many of their most loyal customers are wary, concerned the big box retailer, with its big name and already established strong core values, will swallow Moosejaw whole. To that, Comerford says, “The quirky outdoor lovers that make the Madness happen are going to stay the same… we’ll just get to add more friends as we grow.”
What’s in it for Walmart?
The retail chain has had a busy year, with the acquisition of Jet.com, ShoeBuy.com, and now a members-only subscription to rival Amazon Prime. For Walmart, adding Moosejaw to their arsenal not only gives them access to a brand new consumer base, but presents them to shoppers as more than just a big box retail chain.
Neither Walmart nor Moosejaw see the acquisition as a one-way street. While Moosejaw will undoubtedly give Walmart access to a trove of outdoor (and value-driven) enthusiasts, Walmart hopes to use its far-reaching voice for good, using its brand recognition to make Moosejaw – and by extension mountaineering – a household name.
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