A pair of Top 500 retailers have walked away with the intellectual property of defunct online footwear retailer Shoes.com.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has bought the Shoes.com domain name and intellectual property that includes the company’s logos and social media accounts for $9 million, according to documents posted on the website of professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc.
Shoes.com, a Canadian e-retailer that was No. 151 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, abruptly shut down in late January. The retailer didn’t say at the time why it was shuttering its three online stores, including ShoeME.ca and OnlineShoes.com. Shoes.com generated $223.0 million in online sales in 2015, up 149.9% from $89.2 million the previous year.
Wal-Mart (No. 4) has maintained the Shoes.com home page. However, when a consumer clicks on the page, it redirects him to Shoebuy.com. At the bottom of the Shoes.com home page, it states: “ShoeBuy is the online destination for top styles from the best brands, at great prices. We love shoes so much, we bought the name shoes.com too.” Wal-Mart paid $70 million for ShoeBuy (No. 101) in January in part to bolster the footwear offerings on its Jet.com online marketplace.
In a FAQ section on Shoes.com, the retailer states that “items purchased at shoes.com before April 4th, 2017 cannot be returned or exchanged to ShoeBuy. If you made a purchase from the previous operator of shoes.com their return and exchange policy ended as of January 27th, 2017. We do not have any information about your order or previous business done with them.” A ShoeBuy spokeswoman did not return an email seeking comment.
Footwear retailer DSW Inc. (No. 133) bought the intellectual property of Shoes.com’s ShoeMe.ca for an unknown price. Unlike with Wal-Mart and Shoes.com, DSW chose not to maintain the ShoeMe.ca brand. Visiting the ShoeMe URL redirects consumers to DSW’s Canadian website, and ShoeMe.ca’s social media feeds have not been updated since Shoes.com shut down in January. A DSW spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.Favorite