Nogin, a leader in outsourced e-commerce for large fashion and consumer goods companies, has acquired the assets of ModCloth, the online womenswear and accessories retailer. The purchase price was not disclosed.
This is the fourth chapter for ModCloth, which was founded in 2002 and specializes in vintage-inspired fashion, shoes, handbags and accessories for 18-35 year old women.
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Nogin, based in Tustin, California, acquired the brand for an undisclosed sum from Go Global Retail, which it acquired from Walmart Inc. in 2020. Walmart bought the brand in 2017 from ModCloth founders Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger as part of the discounter’s strategy to acquire digitally native brands to learn about next-generation e-commerce.
Over the years, Nogin has provided smart trading solutions to major brands like Honeywell, Hurley, Bebe, Lululemon, Justice, True Religion, Yeezy and most recently Charming Charlie.
“We have the great advantage that we can make brands world class and profitable within 90 days of their introduction on our platform. We always have. Investing where we see great potential is a natural extension, ”said Jan-Christopher Nugent, CEO of Nogin. “We’re excited to release ModCloth to focus on delivering great products and stories for the brand’s passionate consumer community while remaining true to the core values of empowerment and inclusivity for women.”
Geoffrey Van Haeren, President and Chief Technology Officer of Nogin, added: “We are very excited to add ModCloth to our group. The move to online is massive and we love delivering our smart commerce and innovations to brands that are not equipped for the special demands of e-commerce. So far, this strategy has produced consistent exponential results. “
The company has hired approximately 55 ModCloth employees and kept leadership constant, with Marketing Director Mary Jimenez named CEO. She will be joined by members of the brand’s purchasing / branding / design / merchandising, logistics, technology / development / IT, accounting, and human resources teams who will be based at Nogin’s Tustin headquarters, and ModCloth customer service representatives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ., Call center.
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Jeff Streader, Managing Partner of Go Global Retail, said, “ModCloth is an amazing brand that is focused on growth. We are very excited about the progress made at ModCloth since we acquired the Walmart brand in January 2020, and we’re excited to see the momentum continue with Nogin. “
Back in 2019, just two years after Walmart bought ModCloth to expand and redesign its digital presence, the mass retailer agreed to sell the brand to Go Global. Walmart had expanded ModCloth’s relationship with Nordstrom.
At the time of the sale, Streader said he expected ModCloth to expand in many ways as Go Global activities take over more of the back end and the ModCloth team will focus on design and marketing. “We will focus on innovating in her digital strategy, inventing social engagement, listening to our key consumers and responding with the products she wants,” Streader said at the time. Go Global should invest in artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to revitalize the ModCloth business, which should be expanded to Europe and China.
WWD reported in September that ModCloth was reopening in Europe and would be kicking off business in the region to reconnect with customers online and attract new buyers. Europe was a major market for ModCloth before it was bought by Walmart in 2017. Walmart made a number of changes, including withdrawing from Europe, but ultimately it didn’t fit well and was sold to Go Global. The change in ownership resulted in ModCloth closing its wholesale and formwork stores in New York. Austin, Tex .; San Francisco and Washington, DC while focused on their e-commerce business. This was a good time considering the pandemic gave online sellers a boost.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Nugent explained why he wanted to buy ModCloth and how it fits well.
“Our thesis has helped brands really thrive online. It evolved from helping as a service provider to taking on online licenses for some of the big brands and operating them vertically. We now have a pretty good idea where we can do the hard things with the technology and the research and development and some of the e-comm services that weigh on really talented brands that keep them from doing what they do to do. “
He said ModCloth “has great brand DNA, a wonderful customer, it’s very timely and there were just a lot of things they couldn’t because they were stressed.”
ModCloth is the first brand that Nogin acquired. “There was a whole world of opportunities that we weren’t exposed to until we got involved that basically said we were ready to invest and buy brands,” said Nugent.
“Modcloth is great for us, they actually do it quite well. They were only weighed down by technological constraints and capital constraints. There are things that we do naturally that were challenging for them. We know that if we take a brand and put it on our platform, we can optimize these things. It frees up the talent to really advance the brand and the product, ”said Nugent.
When asked if Europe and China would be opportunities for ModCloth, he said, “We are a global platform, so our platform has multiple currencies and multiple languages. We have sales partnerships in regions if we actually want to deliver products from these regions there are many options instead of just shipping from the US. “
Having a wide range of sizes, ModCloth offers free ModStylist services and works with nonprofits that advocate for women and animals. The range of goods ranges from sportswear, dresses and swimwear to shoes, accessories, housewares and gifts.
In Nugent’s opinion[ModCloth] Really possesses the empowerment of women, diversity, and being who you want to be. “He said the acquisition will allow ModCloth to focus externally on their customers and their message, and Nogin will be able to support the technology and development.
After Nugent had multiple owners, he said they plan to keep ModCloth for a long time. “Yes. For them, they went through a transition to digital native. Digital native is very close and expensive to what we do for us. We have always owned the online channel for brands. For us, that’s what we do. We have a very long-term relationship with the brand’s business model. “
Because of her experience with so many brands, Nugent said they know a lot about the customer and how she behaves online. “We can see how certain customers behave across a variety of brands, and that gives us the opportunity to help. It’s kind of a marriage between the dealer with the technologist and the ability to translate so we can do the hard things and the nerdy things and the technical things, and they can do the artistic, branded and lifestyle things. “Nugent said they put ModCloth on their platform before closing the deal.
Tiger Finance granted Nogin a $ 6 million loan to fund the purchase of Go Global’s ModCloth assets. Tiger Valuation Services offers support with inventory analysis.
“We are excited to support Nogin in its first consumer brand acquisition as this fast-growing company seeks to diversify beyond its traditional role of managing the e-commerce business of big brands,” said Andrew Babcock, executive director of Tiger Finance. “This was a natural step in the company’s development and provided Nogin with the perfect opportunity to buy into an established online retailer with a very loyal and passionate following.”
Nogin, which works with brands in the fashion, consumer goods, beauty, health and wellness sectors, provides an e-commerce platform that includes research and development, sales optimization and machine learning, and marketing and fulfillment using artificial intelligence.
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