Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Walmart acquired Shoes.com in 2017 for $9 million. In the past six weeks, the discounter has also sold its Bare Necessities intimates business, as well as its majority stake in Asda.
Shoe.com was originally founded in 1999 as Shoebuy, considered a pioneer in the world of online shoe e-tailers. The Boston-based company is expected to continue selling some of its goods at Walmart.
“CriticalPoint Capital is the ideal partner to help us achieve our next phase of growth including optimizing product assortment, delivering a best-in-class footwear shopping experience, while also leveraging operational capabilities and strategies,” said John Foristall, president and CEO of Shoes.com. “CPC has extensive knowledge and experience in the footwear industry, including an understanding of our key brands and how these brand relationships have been the cornerstone of this business for over 20 years. CPC also has a strong track record of giving companies the advice and backing they need to succeed as standalone businesses.”
CriticalPoint’s experience in the footwear sector stems from past investments in JackRabbit, Clever Training and Olympia Sports.
“We are thrilled to leverage our operational and consumer-focused expertise to help Shoes.com continue its long-standing position as a leader of online footwear and further the company’s strategic evolution,” Brad Holtmeier, CPC partner, said.
In recent years, Walmart has steadily been divesting some of its online businesses. The mass market discounter last year unloaded digitally native brand ModCloth in a sale to Go Global Retail, folded jet.com into its e-commerce platform, and was said to have been looking for a buyer for Bonobos, the men’s fashion brand it acquired in 2017 and has decided to keep. Both brands were said to be unprofitable. Plus-size women’s fashion brand Eloquii, which the discounter acquired in 2018 for an estimated $100 million and still owns, is also believed to be unprofitable. Walmart and the plus-size brand last month launched the Eloquii Elements Collection, a line aimed for everyday options at price points averaging under $30.