Walmart Acquisitions & Mergers


© History Oasis


  • Woolco division of Woolworth Canada
  • ASDA
  • Distribución y Servicio D&S SA
  • Massmart Holdings Ltd.
  • Kosmix
  • Vudu
  • Moosejaw
  • Parcel
  • Flipkart
  • Aspectiva
  • Memomi
  • Volt System
  • Vizio


© History Oasis

Woolco began operations in 1962 as the discount store division of F.W. Woolworth Company's Canadian subsidiaries.

By the early 1990s, facing increasing competition from other big box retailers, Woolworth made the decision to leave the hypermarket business, selling the majority of its Woolco stores to Walmart in 1994.

Walmart's acquisition of the Woolco chain enabled its entry into the Canadian market, laying the groundwork for Walmart's future growth into one of the largest retailers in Canada over the following decades.


© History Oasis

ASDA traces its roots back to the 1920s when a group of farmers banded together to sell milk directly to customers in Yorkshire, eventually expanding into a chain of stores carrying a variety of goods.

In 1999, Walmart set its sights on international expansion by acquiring the well-established ASDA supermarket chain in the UK for $10 billion dollars, at the time the largest takeover of a British enterprise by an American corporation.

The addition of ASDA gave Walmart an important foothold in the competitive UK grocery market, complementing its other overseas acquisitions in the drive to become a worldwide retail giant.


© History Oasis

Founded in 1955 as a small butcher shop, Distribución y Servicio S.A. (D&S) grew over the latter half of the 20th century into the top supermarket chain in Chile.

Looking to expand its presence in Latin America, Walmart in 2010 acquired a controlling stake in D&S for over $1.5 billion, its largest investment ever in a single overseas market at that point.

The addition of Chile's premier grocery chain gave Walmart a strong foothold in South America from which to challenge more established regional supermarket leaders for dominance in the Latin American retail sphere.


© History Oasis

Massmart originated in the 1990s as a wholesale cash-and-carry chain serving small business owners in the aftermath of apartheid-era sanctions in South Africa.

Seeking to expand its footprint in high-growth African markets, Walmart acquired a controlling interest in Massmart for $2.4 billion in 2010, representing its first entry into the Sub-Saharan region.

The Massmart takeover provided Walmart with an established distribution network and local retail brands to facilitate its gradual expansion across southern Africa over the following decade.


© History Oasis

Founded in 2005, Kosmix was an innovative Silicon Valley startup focused on organizing the world's information and making it more accessible through social media and semantic analysis.

Eager to boost its online presence, Walmart acquired the fledgling firm in 2011, though some questioned whether a traditional retailer could successfully integrate an agile tech company.

While Kosmix's technology failed to meaningfully advance Walmart's e-commerce capabilities as hoped, the acquisition marked Walmart's recognition of the growing role of social media and the need to explore new frontiers.


© History Oasis

Vudu emerged in 2007 as one of the first platforms for streaming theatrical movies directly to consumers via connected devices, pioneering film rentals and purchases long before streaming became mainstream.

Looking to quickly expand its digital footprint, Walmart purchased video-on-demand service Vudu in 2010 to incorporate its state-of-the-art entertainment delivery infrastructure.

While integrated into Walmart's web presence, Vudu operated as an independent subsidiary, indicating the company’s early commitment to challenge video rental giants through investments in specialized startups.


© History Oasis

Founded in 1992, Moosejaw garnered a cult following with its extensive online and catalog selection of outdoor apparel and gear, creative marketing campaigns, and renowned customer service.

Bolstering its inventory of specialty e-commerce sites, Walmart purchased the popular Michigan-based retailer Moosejaw for $51 million in 2017.

Walmart's acquisition of the peculiar yet well-established outdoor brand enabled expansion of its online offerings while harnessing Moosejaw's expertise in creating rich digital shopping experiences.


© History Oasis

Founded in 2013, Parcel represented the vanguard of a new wave of delivery startups offering same-day fulfillment services in urban markets.

While Walmart had long dominated suburban and rural areas, its 2017 Parcel acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, signaled an emerging strategy to penetrate major metropolitan regions using hyper-local carriers.

Integrating Parcel’s logistics infrastructure and workforce allows Walmart to advance its e-commerce operations to meet rising consumer expectations for speed and convenience.


© History Oasis

Launched in 2007 as an online bookseller, Flipkart pioneered e-commerce in India, navigating logistical complexities to sell consumer goods across the massive and diverse nation.

Recognizing India’s underserved yet fast-growing online retail landscape, Walmart spent $16 billion to acquire a 77% stake in market-leading Flipkart in 2018, its largest acquisition to date.

Possessing an existing customer base of over 100 million, Flipkart represented Walmart’s biggest opportunity yet to invest early in an increasingly digital-first population of over one billion potential consumers.

© History Oasis

Seeking to challenge Amazon's online retail dominance, internet entrepreneur Marc Lore founded in 2014 as a next-generation e-commerce platform leveraging pricing algorithms and subscription models to offer bulk purchasing discounts.

Recognizing the potential of Jet's innovative retail concepts, Walmart acquired the two-year old startup in 2016 for $3.3 billion dollars in its largest-ever purchase to propel its nascent e-commerce strategy.

The blockbuster Jet deal saw Lore assume a leadership role streamlining Walmart's web operations and accelerating its digital transformation through acquisitions of digitally-native vertical brands.


© History Oasis

Founded in 2016, Aspectiva developed advanced algorithms to extract actionable insights from product reviews and other online content sources.

Always on the hunt to leverage emerging technologies, Walmart acquired the fledgling Massachusetts-based startup Aspectiva in 2019 to enhance its supplier management systems.

By folding Aspectiva’s review language processing capabilities into its operations, Walmart aims to derive greater value from user-generated big data in strategically guiding merchandising decisions.


© History Oasis

Established in 2021, Memomi was an early trailblazer in using augmented reality to enable try-on-before-you-buy customer experiences in online shopping.

Keen to expand its digital retail capabilities, Walmart acquired the promising computer vision startup Memomi after less than a year of operations.

Integrating Memomi's virtual try-on technology aims to provide Walmart's e-commerce sites with more immersive, interactive features to continue pushing the boundaries of what's possible in digital commerce.


Volt System
© History Oasis

Founded in 2020, Volt Systems developed supply chain optimization solutions using Internet of Things sensors and enterprise software.

As part of its drive into digitally transforming retail, Walmart acquired Volt Systems’ technology in 2022 to gain real-time inventory monitoring and logistics transparency.

The acquisition provides Walmart enhanced shipment tracking capabilities and in-house expertise that may enable unprecedented responsiveness in its global distribution network.


© History Oasis

Walmart's acquisition of Vizio, a leading TV manufacturer, for approximately $2.3 billion in February 2024 marked a significant strategic move for the retail giant.

This acquisition aimed to bolster Walmart's advertising business and forge new avenues for advertisers to engage customers through Vizio's SmartCast Operating System and substantial active user base.

Furthermore, the deal positioned Walmart to leverage Vizio's established advertising partnerships and platform, enhancing the company's ability to facilitate impactful brand-consumer connections at scale.