Mergers & Acquisitions

It’s not easy to stay on top of the latest company realignments in the retail industry. It’s a volatile environment — across retailer segments as well as solution provider organizations. As soon as the announcements are made, Retail TouchPoints publishes an article covering the news, in this Mergers & Acquisitions section. Learn about the latest developments here.

Report: Alibaba Acquires Kaola For $2 Billion

Alibaba Group has agreed to pay $2 billion in cash to acquire fellow Chinese cross-border e-Commerce platform NetEase Kaola, according to a report from Caixin Global. Kaola, owned by NetEase Inc., sells apparel, household appliances and other products from 9,000 brands, and is the largest of the Chinese shopping sites selling imported goods. While numerous news outlets have reported on the acquisition, Alibaba refused to provide a comment. The acquisition would represent major consolidation within the global e-Commerce space: NetEase Kaola held a 27.5% market share in cross-border e-Commerce in 2018, and Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace held 25%, according to iiMedia Research Group.

Steve Madden Acquires GREATS

Steve Madden has acquired GREATS, a Brooklyn-based digitally native footwear brand specializing in Italian-made sneakers, for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2014 by Ryan Babenzein, GREATS opened a 500-square-foot flagship in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in April 2018. The sneaker retailer had moved into wholesale after partnering with Nordstrom in October 2017.

Farfetch Adds Tech, New Brands With $675M Purchase Of New Guards

The online luxury fashion marketplace Farfetch has purchased New Guards Group, a brand platform that has launched several global luxury fashion brands, for $675 million. The acquisition extends Farfetch’s capabilities to include design, production and brand development. Farfetch is seeking to leverage its global consumer base, data insights and boutique network, combining them with New Guards’ support for designers with services such as strategy development, sourcing and production, merchandising, licensing, marketing and growth planning.

Canadian Tire Acquires Party City Canadian Retail Business For $130 Million

Canadian Tire will acquire the retail business and assets of Party City’s Canadian subsidiary, including its 65 stores, intellectual property and employee base, for $174.4 million CAD (approximately $131 million USD). As part of the acquisition, Party City's product assortments will be made available nationally across 500 Canadian Tire stores and online at The retailer will expand Party City's standalone store network in Canada and also plans to build Party City-branded store-in-store, pop-ups and "in-line" aisles across Canadian Tire locations. Canadian Tire also will integrate Party City into its Triangle Rewards program.

Nike Acquires Celect To Better Anticipate Customer Demand

Nike has acquired Celect, a predictive analytics and demand sensing technology company, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is fueling the footwear and apparel giant’s global “Consumer Direct Offense” strategy, according to a statement. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales are becoming a major cornerstone of the Nike business model. Sales from Nike’s Direct business rose 12%, from $9.1 billion in fiscal 2017 to $10.4 billion in fiscal 2018, according to SEC filings. Fueled by online growth, direct revenue now makes up about 30% of total Nike brand revenue, the company said.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM Acquires Shari’s Berries For $20.5 Million

1-800-FLOWERS.COM has won an auction to purchase certain assets from FTD, including the Shari’s Berries brand, for $20.5 million. The bankruptcy court will consider approval of the transaction on Aug. 9, at which point 1-800-FLOWERS.COM will acquire Shari’s Berries through a wholly owned subsidiary. “As with all of our brands, we will focus on driving strong top and bottom-line performance for the Shari’s Berries brand by enhancing the overall customer experience and leveraging the unique capabilities of our business platform to improve its operating efficiency,” said Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM in a statement.

PriceSpider Acquires ORIS Intelligence

PriceSpider, a data and consumer analytics technology firm, has acquired ORIS Intelligence, which provides near real-time analytics on pricing inconsistencies for brand manufacturers. Details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Leveraging its proprietary “spidering” technology, PriceSpider collects data from thousands of e-Commerce sites to provide analytics into product data, competitive comparisons, purchase decisions. Ultimately, the solution is designed to help brands enhance their presence and increase sales. With ORIS, PriceSpider can prioritize the integrity of pricing data “above all else,” PriceSpider CEO Anthony Ferry said in a statement.

Etsy Acquires Musical Instrument Marketplace Reverb

Etsy has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Reverb, a marketplace for new, used and vintage music gear, for $275 million. Reverb will continue operating as a standalone business after the deal closes, and Founder and CEO David Kalt will retain his position until Etsy identifies a new leader for the business. Reverb gives individuals, brick-and-mortar retailers and dealers access to a global audience interested in purchasing musical instruments, including the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany and Australia. The deal will give Etsy access to a new market through a company with a similar growth strategy and business model.

Marlin Equity Partners Acquires Clarus Commerce

Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm, has acquired Clarus Commerce, a provider of loyalty programs for retailers, for an undisclosed amount. The Marlin investment was made alongside Norwest Venture Partners, a previous investor in Clarus that will hold a minority stake in the company.

Workforce Insight Acquires SMK Workforce Solutions

Workforce Insight, a workforce optimization solution provider, has acquired SMK Workforce Solutions. Scott Knaul, CEO of SMK Solutions, will join the Workforce Insight leadership team as SVP of Retail Solutions. “SMK Workforce Solutions excels at helping retail and experience-focused organizations build the optimal labor model to deliver a consistent customer experience,” said Tony Santora, CEO of Workforce Insight in a statement. “Timing could not be better in response to increasing demand from our customers and partners for industry-specific analytics extensions, operational excellence models, implementation capabilities and innovative adoption approaches that drive sustainable value.”

Visa Acquires Chargeback Management Solution Provider

Visa will acquire Verifi, a chargeback reduction solution provider. The deal will combine the dispute resolution tools offered by Verifi with the risk and fraud management solutions available through Visa, to provide retailers with tools designed to cut chargeback costs and improve the customer experience. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Verifi connects all parties in the dispute process in a near real-time management process that helps resolve the issue before it becomes a chargeback. This functionality will be integrated with Visa risk management services, including CardinalCommerce and CyberSource, to offer greater automation, near real-time communication and additional data-driven insights for retail partners.

Trax Acquires Shopping Rewards App Shopkick

Trax, a Singapore-based computer vision and analytics solution for retail, has acquired Shopkick, a shopping rewards app, with the goal of uniting the mobile and physical retail worlds for global and regional retailers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With the acquisition, Trax aims to gain a better understanding of consumers’ online and offline shopping habits, through the integration of Trax technologies and Shopkick’s path-to-purchase offerings.

Vera Bradley Acquires Majority Ownership In Pura Vida

Vera Bradley has signed an agreement to acquire a 75% interest in Creative Genius, Inc., the owner of Pura Vida, a California-based digitally native lifestyle brand that sells handmade bracelets and other jewelry. With the acquisition, Pura Vida will receive a cash consideration of $75 million, which will be subject to certain price adjustments, and up to $22.5 million as a bonus if the company reaches certain performance-based targets by the end of 2019. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 of Vera Bradley’s fiscal 2020, and the Indiana-based handbag and luggage company has the right to acquire the remaining 25% stake in Pura Vida five years post-closing. “The acquisition of Pura Vida is a terrific fit for Vera Bradley as we move into Year Two of our Vision 20/20 strategic plan and focus on growth,” said Robert Wallstrom, CEO of Pura Vida in a statement. “As we pursue ways to increase revenues, grow shareholder value, expand our customer community, and diversify the business, Pura Vida will be a great addition to our portfolio.” Vera Bradley and Pura Vida both have customer bases of loyal, multi-generational females and are positioned as “gifting,” socially connected brands that focus on community,…

Crate And Barrel Acquires San Francisco-Based Home Décor Retailer

Crate and Barrel has bought Hudson Grace, a San Francisco-based boutique home décor and gift brand that operates five California stores and one Atlanta location, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the acquisition, Crate and Barrel plans to grow the Hudson Grace brand by expanding it into niche markets. With more than 47% of its sales coming through online channels, Crate and Barrel also wants to leverage its digital capabilities to grow Hudson Grace’s developing e-Commerce business.

Salesforce Acquires Big Data Firm Tableau For $15.7 Billion

Salesforce has agreed to acquire data visualization platform provider Tableau in an all-stock transaction valued at $15.7 billion, making it the largest acquisition in the company’s history and combining one of the biggest CRM players with a major big data analytics platform. The purchase is a clear indicator that Salesforce is seeking to offer more data insights to its clients, with a company statement placing a heavy emphasis on “driving digital transformation” across businesses in. With today’s retailers continually having to adapt to changing consumer preferences and developing a sharper focus on understanding data from all points of the shopper journey, Salesforce is looking to marry the concepts of CRM and big data even further.
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