Walmart Inc. on Thursday announced it has acquired the assets of Art.com, an e-commerce site that features more than 2 million images and on-demand customization services. Those assets include the retailer’s catalog, intellectual property, trade name and U.S. operations. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close early next calendar year, were not disclosed.
The retailer, which is No. 137 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500, sold $330.5 million online last year, according to Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com, making it the largest online retailer that specializes in art in North America. However, like many of Walmart’s recent acquisitions, its growth has been slow; it only grew 8% last year and its five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was just 13.0%.
Walmart plans to operate Art.com as a standalone business much like Jet and Hayneedle, while also integrating its broad assortment onto Walmart.com, Jet.com and Hayneedle.com. In effect, it is buying category-specific inventory and expertise that might otherwise be difficult to put in place on its own, which is the same approach it took with outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw and Shoes.com.
“Art.com’s wide-ranging assortment, from affordable and chic posters for your first apartment to limited edition prints and loft art pieces for your new home, helps customers like Jenn, make their house a home without breaking the bank,” writes Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president and group general manager, home, Walmart U.S. eCommerce, in a blog post. “The wall also allows us to create even more personalized experiences for her in the future, as we now have a better understanding of design aesthetics, color preferences, complementary pieces–like rugs, furniture, etc.–and, even insight into the size of the space.”