Walmart is unexpectedly boosting investment in Fashion. October data shows the number of new positions in apparel and fashion retailing increasing 10x, from 15 in September to 150 in October.
Bonobos is responsible for the bulk of this hiring spree. A complete reversal from the situation last month when Bonobos laid off dozens of staff; it appears as though they were going through a strategic reorganization and is again investing for the long-term. Showroom Guides make up 94% of all new positions, spread across the country. An indicator Bonobos is confident it has figured out the “try before you buy” online fashion business model and is now scaling the service.
Walmart has a real opportunity to flank Amazon on apparel sales with Bonobos. Amazon surpassed Walmart in apparel sales in 2018, but an NPR survey in the same year has shown only 20% of Amazon customers usually buy clothes or shoes from Amazon:
This indicates Amazon’s apparel shopping experience is anything but ideal. Bonobos is Walmart’s opportunity to go on the offensive: Learn how to sell apparel online and scale for its other fashion brands.