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Walmart wants in on the great outdoors, so it bags Moosejaw

The Michigan-based retailer, acquired for $51 million, is Walmart's newest asset in an e-commerce battle with Amazon.

Walmart is adding another e-commerce asset to its shopping cart today, with the $51 million acquisition of Michigan-based retailer Moosejaw.

Steve Heap, Getty Images/Canopy

Founded in 1992, Moosejaw sells popular outdoors gear, apparel and merchandise from brands like Patagonia and North Face at its 10 physical stores. Walmart's real interest here, though, would appear to be online. Moosejaw is an established e-commerce player in apparel and accessories -- which, a Walmart spokesperson pointed out, is now the No. 1 category in digital commerce, according to ComScore. That business will fold right into Jet.com, which Walmart acquired last year for $3.3 billion in a big push to take on Amazon.

While the Moosejaw purchase is just a small part of that strategy, it still shows that Walmart remains committed to making online gains in 2017. To that end, Jet.com purchased ShoeBuy for $70 million just last month in a bid to compete with the category-leading Zappos.

Walmart said that Moosejaw's CEO and more than 350 employees will continue to operate out of Michigan, where they'll keep on overseeing their site and physical stores as "a standalone and complementary brand" in Walmart's growing e-commerce portfolio.