By Sarah Nassauer
Bonobos, the men's apparel retailer owned by Walmart Inc., is laying off some staff on Monday as Walmart works to narrow losses in its unprofitable U.S. e-commerce division.
A few dozen people are being laid off, a personal familiar with the situation said. Bonobos has around 600 employees, said a Bonobos spokeswoman.
"These decisions are not taken lightly, but we believe they are necessary to set the brand and business up for long term success," the spokeswoman said. The layoffs are a Bonobos decision, she added.
Bonobos, founded in 2007, was acquired by Walmart for $310 million in 2017. The company started out selling online, expanded its apparel line and opened shops where customers could try on clothes and place orders for delivery.
Walmart has said losses in its e-commerce division, which includes Bonobos, will be higher this fiscal year than last. The company has been spending heavily to ramp up its e-commerce operations, including grocery delivery. Most of Walmart's profits still come from its traditional U.S. stores.
After buying startup Jet.com in 2016, Walmart acquired several smaller e-commerce companies to boost the selection of products on Walmart.com or gather talent and brand expertise. In 2017, Walmart also bought women's apparel retailer ModCloth and outdoor retailer Moosejaw. Last year, it bought Elloqui, a women's plus-size fashion brand.
Walmart has started to unwind some of those investments. Earlier this year, it folded most of what remains of its Jet.com staff into its existing operations. Last week Walmart sold ModCloth to an investor group for an undisclosed price.
Walmart is also looking to spinoff Jetblack, a personal shopping concierge service launched last year. As of early this summer, Jetblack was losing around $15,000 per member annually, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
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