Walmart is continuing its e-Commerce spending spree, with the retail giant acquiring the domain name and intellectual priority of defunct online retailer Shoes.com for $9 million. The Shoes.com web address still exists, but one click on the page will redirect consumers to Walmart’s recently acquired ShoeBuy unit.
The intellectual property includes the company’s logos and social media accounts, according to documents posted on the web site of professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal Canada.
DSW acquired another of the Shoes.com domain names, ShoeMe.ca, for an undisclosed price.
Shoes.com abruptly shut down its online brands and Toronto-based brick-and-mortar store on Jan. 27, 2017, declaring bankruptcy shortly after and staying out of the public eye since. Items purchased at Shoes.com before the shutdown cannot be returned or exchanged to ShoeBuy.
While Walmart didn’t get any merchandise in the Shoes.com acquisition, the simplicity of the domain name is key to making this move work. There may be shoppers who remain unaware that the Shoes.com site shuttered in the first place, so all that traffic now comes in under the Walmart umbrella. Additionally, shoppers that knew about the closing may be intrigued by the updated Shoebuy offerings.
A quick Google search of “shoes” will generate the Shoes.com link on the first page, alongside brands such as Zappos, DSW, 6pm and Famous Footwear, so ShoeBuy now has an SEO benefit it didn’t have before.
Walmart and subsidiary/e-Commerce strategy driver Jet.com are looking to make a massive impact on online retailing through large-scale acquisitions, but this subtle decision shows that they can boost the value of a brand like ShoeBuy in a relatively inexpensive manner. With a new — largely Canadian — consumer base, ShoeBuy may be able to gain more of a following north of the border and benefit Walmart in the long run.