FullBeauty Brands announced its acquisition of plus-size fashion retailer Eloquii Inc. from Walmart. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Global Data analyst, Neil Saunders exclusively shared his views with Just Style:

“With the economy tightening and Walmart’s bottom line under pressure, the company is retrenching from some of its acquisitions in order to focus on its core business. In theory, Eloquii should have been a great fit with Walmart – helping it expand its presence in the plus-size market. In reality, Walmart is an operator that plays on an enormous scale and it finds it difficult to incubate and grow smaller brands.”

FullBeauty has been offering inclusive sizing since 1901, making it a first mover in the industry. Eloquii’s expertise in fashion and technical design caters specifically to women who wear a size 14 and up. This acquisition will allow FullBeauty to expand its presence in the growing US$81bn women’s plus-sized sector in the United States.

Saunders added: Walmart went through a phase of buying smaller online and multichannel brands when it was looking to boost its own presence in online. It likely learnt a lot from them, but now there are big questions over what their purpose is and how they fit into Walmart’s wider strategy. The blunt answer is that they don’t. Walmart wants to invest in its core stores and online proposition and doesn’t want capital or time tied up in what it sees as side ventures.”

Eloquii, a digitally native vertical brand founded 12 years ago, offers fashion and on-trend apparel exclusively through its website and select wholesale accounts. Eloquii has a direct connection with its customers and is data-driven in its approach to product development and marketing.

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Following the acquisition, Eloquii will become the anchor tenant in a new FullBeauty digital mall, which includes SwimSuitsForAll and June+Vie. FullBeauty’s current digital mall will continue to house the brand websites of WomanWithin, Roaman’s, Catherines, Jessica London, Ellos, KingSize, Brylane Home, and OneStopPlus.

The mall uses universal cart technology, allowing shoppers to browse and buy from all the brands in one seamless shopping cart with a single convenient checkout.

“This strategic acquisition complements our brands perfectly and allows us to leverage our scale and platform to support Eloquii and our shared mission, and thereby accelerate our growth with this important demographic,” said Jim Fogarty, FullBeauty’s CEO.

“Our approach was critical to our recent successful acquisition and integration of Catherines and will be here as well. While we hope to bring scale and platform expertise to bear, we will also humbly be learning from Julie and the talented Eloquii team, who are the soul of the Eloquii brand DNA, and who fortunately are joining us on this next phase of the Eloquii journey.”

Julie Carnevale, co-founder, and brand leader of Eloquii said, “We’re thrilled to become part of this great company and to have found a partner that supports our vision for Eloquii. Eloquii is here today because of its customers. With FullBeauty’s scale and platform, more customers will learn about Eloquii as we continue to provide our existing customers with the great products and exceptional service, they’ve come to expect from us.”

Ahead of the tenth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, IndustriAll Global Union and UNI Global Union are urging fashion brands such as Walmart to sign the fashion safety accord.