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Re/code reports that Walmart is engaged in "advanced discussions" to acquire men's fashion retailer Bonobos.

According to the story, "Sources say the two sides have agreed on a price ... and that the deal is in its final due diligence stages." The price is expected to be more than the $70 million Walmart spent for Modcloth; Bonobos is more profitable, generating between $100 million and $150 million in annual revenue.

The Re/code story also provides some context: "Bonobos was founded in 2007 by CEO Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly as an e-commerce shop selling dress pants designed to fit athletic men. Since then, the company has expanded into dress shirts, suits and outerwear, and started to sell through Nordstrom, which is an investor, in addition to its own website. Dress shirts start at around $98 and suits at $550.

"Over the last few years, Bonobos has also opened more than 30 brick-and-mortar showrooms, called Guideshops, where customers can get fitted and place orders to be delivered to their home."
KC's View:
The Re/code story makes the point that while the fit would not seem to make sense, there are two potential positives for Walmart ... the ability to own "digital-native companies with strong brands that appeal to a different demographic than Walmart does, and ... have the potential to be healthy standalone businesses with Walmart’s backing," and the ability "to bring new digital leadership into Walmart," since the leadership of these acquired companies are staying.

This all seems to be the master plan devised by Marc Lore, who sold Jet to Walmart and how is running all of its e-commerce operations. But the question remains whether this builds a stronger foundation at Walmart, or creates a series of offshoots that are both costly and distracting.

We have a story below pointing out that more than nine out of 10 US shoppers patronized a Walmart last year ... a far greater percentage than shopped at Amazon. The cobbling together of all these different retailers does little, I think, to build on the company's traditional strengths in the short-term. In the long-term, the questions is whether the sum of the parts will be greater than the whole.