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Walmart acquires art and wall decor retailer Art.com

Walmart’s acquisition spree continues. Only a couple of months after picking up apparel and lingerie brands, ELOQUII and Bare Necessities, respectively, the company on Thursday announced its plans to acquire the assets from online art and wall decor retailer, Art.com. The deal is expected to close in early 2019, and includes Art.com’s catalog, IP, trade name, and U.S. operations.
Walmart did not disclose the amount of the deal, but it’s said to be in line with Walmart’s other recent deals in terms of size. Art.com had been doing more than $300 million in annual sales, according to CNBC.
In its announcement, Walmart describes Art.com, originally founded in 1998, as the “world’s largest online retailer in the art and decor category.” It also notes Art.com’s wide-ranging assortment includes two million curated images that customers buy as posters, prints, and other art pieces for their home.
The site offers on-demand and customization capabilities, with the majority of its inventory being printed on demand at the time of ordering – that’s useful, as it means Walmart won’t have to house large stores of inventory for this home decor business, as most of it is made-to-order. All the servicing is also done on-site, including custom framing and mounting on canvas and wood, Walmart says.
Art.com’s site includes technology like visual search and a way to visualize the art on your own walls, and it offers financing through Affirm and installation through another Walmart partner, Handy.
Walmart says the plan is to operate Art.com’s assets as a standalone and complementary site. It will also add Art.com assortment to Walmart.com, Jet.com, and Hayneedle.com, in the future. By doing so, customers will have access to “millions of additional choices for art, wall decor, and personalized print-on-demand capabilities,” says Walmart.
The retailer has been steadily expanding its assortment in long tail categories, like home decor – one of the areas of focus with the Walmart.com website’s redesign, which rolled out earlier this year. The updated site offers a more modern, cleaner look-and-feel, deeper personalization, improved recommendations, and the addition of speciality shopping experiences in areas like home and fashion.
Art.com is now one of many acquisitions Walmart has made to capture more of the e-commerce market across those categories and others, with deals for ModCloth ($75M), Bonobos ($310M), Moosejaw ($51M), ShoeBuy, Jet.com ($3B), and Hayneedle, in addition to the more recent additions of ELOQUII and Bare Necessities.
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