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Wal-Mart continues its e-commerce shopping spree, snapping up ModCloth

ModCloth employees model swimwear range to promote body positivity.
Rex Features | AP Images
ModCloth employees model swimwear range to promote body positivity.

It's official.

Wal-Mart on Friday confirmed that it has acquired ModCloth, a specialty online apparel retailer that caters to curvy women.

The announcement comes two days after a report by fashion blog Jezebel said a deal between the two was imminent. It also marks Wal-Mart's fourth digital acquisition since September, when it closed its $3.3 billion purchase of Jet.com.

The company did not disclose the price it paid for ModCloth. However, a spokesman said it was "along the same lines" of the previous two companies Wal-Mart snatched up. Wal-Mart purchased Shoebuy for $70 million in December. And last month, it bought outdoor apparel retailer Moosejaw for $51 million.

"Assortment is driving a lot of these acquisitions," CEO Doug McMillon said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer & Retail Technology Conference Tuesday, before any mention of ModCloth had been made.

"We can pick up some of these companies that are great in terms of the assortment and the service they provide, but they don't have enough money to lose, to go market their brand and scale it."

ModCloth will continue to operate its own website as a standalone and complementary brand, Wal-Mart said. The company noted that apparel and accessories are the No. 1 category for online shopping, and the ModCloth acquisition positions it to "gain the experience of a well-recognized specialty apparel e-commerce brand that's trusted by millions of millennial women."

However, not all of those shoppers were thrilled. Some women took to Twitter to voice their disappointment with the deal, which they said takes away the independent vibe ModCloth has built its name on.

Founded in 2002, Modcloth is headquartered in San Francisco and employs roughly 300 workers.