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Walmart acquires specialty outdoor retailer

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart has added another online asset to its battle against Amazon.

The chain announced it has acquired Moosejaw, an outdoor retailer know for its social media marketing expertise and strong online following among younger consumers, for approximately $51 million.

The acquisition, which closed on Feb. 13, is Walmart’s second acquisition in less than two months. In late December, the chain’s Jet.com unit acquired online footwear retailer ShoeBuy.

Founded in 1992 and based in Madison Heights, Michigan, Moosejaw has a significant web presence and also operates 10 stores. It carries more than 400 brands, including such higher-end labels as Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot, and Arc’teryx.

Walmart said that Moosejaw will continue to operate its site and stores as it has in the past, and will be run as a standalone and complementary brand to the discounter’s other e-commerce sites.

“Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford, his executive team, and Moosejaw’s 350-plus employees will continue to be based in Michigan, and will join our new U.S. e-commerce retail organization,” Walmart stated.

Walmart also noted that Moosejaw suppliers “that are interested in expanding their consumer reach will now have the opportunity to serve more customers through Jet.com and our other e-commerce sites.”

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Burlington the latest Sears replacement for PREIT

BY Al Urbanski

Burlington has been announced as the replacement for Sears at PREIT’s Magnolia Mall in Florence, South Carolina. Earlier this month, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Von Maur were introduced as new tenants of Sears spaces that had been recaptured by the Philadelphia-based developer.

In the case of Magnolia Mall, Burlington represents a first-to-market retailer for the region. Located off I-95, Florence is a popular stop for Florida bound tourists and the mall is surrounded by nearly a dozen hotels offering up in excess of 1,000 rooms. Current anchors include Belk, J.C. Penney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy.

"With consumer demand for off-price retail continuing to grow, Burlington will complement Magnolia Mall's merchandise mix,” said PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino.

PREIT’s other Sears recaptures occurred at Capital City Mall in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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Etsy looks to take bite out of Michael’s, Jo-Ann’s

BY Marianne Wilson

Online marketplace retailer Etsy.com is looking to expand its base of sellers by entering the estimated $40 billion to $44 billion craft supplies market, which is dominated by such retailers as Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s Stores.

In its largest expansion to date, Etsy announced it will launch Etsy Studio, which will sell craft supplies and offer DIY tutorials, in April. It is the first new marketplace Etsy has built from the ground up since it debuted in 2011.

The company described its new initiative as a "global market dedicated to craft supplies that seamlessly combines inspiration and shopping in one place.’

"When it launches this spring, visitors will be able to shop original DIY projects and tutorials alongside all of the supplies they need to bring those creative projects to life,” the company stated.

The new marketplace, which plans to launch with nearly 8 million items, will have a listing fee that similar to the fees in place for sellers on the Etsy platform.

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