Bonobos Co-Founder Andy Dunn Leaves Walmart

His departure raises questions about the retailer’s online strategy

The co-founder of Bonobos is leaving Walmart.
Brandonrush/Creative Commons

In 2017, Walmart purchased the menswear company Bonobos for $310 million. “The purchase is part of a sweeping effort by the world’s largest retailer to revamp its business model as it tries to better compete with Amazon,” The New York Times reported at the time. And the move made sense: with Amazon attempting to become a one-stop shop for, well, everything, the idea of expanding Walmart into unexpected places seemed eminently logical, a way to change their competitive strategy against said online retail giant. 

One of the effects of the acquisition involved Bonobos co-founder Andy Dunn taking a position with Walmart in which he would help turn Walmart’s digital business into something that not only rivaled Amazon, but perhaps exceeded it in certain areas. 

Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked out: Recode reports that Dunn is leaving Walmart less than 3 years after coming on board. Walmart’s foray into changing their digital strategy, led by founder Marc Lore (whose company Walmart also acquired, in this case in 2016), has hit more than a few snags, including massive losses anticipated for the company’s e-commerce division.

Dunn’s tenure at Walmart included Walmart’s acquisition of Eloquii and their launch of Allswell, which focuses on mattresses. His time there also included Walmart’s sale of Modcloth, following their controversial purchase of the clothing company.

In their report, Recode notes that the digital losses, specifically the lack of Bonobos and Eloquii to turn a profit, were “not popular with Walmart corporate leadership.” The unnerving process of competing with Amazon continues; where it will lead remains a mystery. 

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